Rules for Kids Using Social Media Safely

This is a guest post.

Twenty years ago, moms were worried about their kids safely crossing the street and whether or not they ate too much sugar. Nowadays, moms (and dads) have to be vigilant about the role of technology in their children’s lives, particularly when it comes to social media.

If you’re a mom, know someone who is, or are even looking for a few helpful tips for your own life, here’s a shortlist of rules to enforce if you want to be sure your kids are using social media safely.

6 Ways to Keep Kids Safe on Social Media

1. Parents Must Have All Passwords

It may seem like an invasion of privacy but it’s crucial your children know you’re actively checking out all their online communication. Make sure they give you the passwords to all their social networking profiles and that you check them often! They’re only useful if you’re monitoring.

2. No Photos That Are Inappropriate

Of course, what’s “inappropriate” will vary from family to family but in general it’s a good idea to keep photos of your kids in bathing suits, in front of your home, and sleeping off the web. A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t want mom to see it, don’t put it online! And of course, you should be checking your kids’ online photos often to make sure one slipped through the cracks.

3. Don’t Give Out Identifying Information

It’s important that you talk with your children before they’re allowed online about what’s best kept to themselves. Obviously things like your phone number, your home address, and your kids full legal name should never be shared over social media but it’s also smart to nix the use of birthdates, sports team numbers, and your kids’ school name as they could be used to track them down in real life.

4. Obey the Time Limits

Social media can be a great addition to a child’s social development but it’s smart to limit the number of sites they use. Facebook and Twitter are great, as are Instagram and Pinterest, but more than two social sites is simply too much. Your kids don’t need to spend more than an hour per day using social to connect with their friends…any more than that and they could be missing out on In Real Life opportunities!

5. No Chat Rooms!

Chat rooms are notoriously hard to monitor and they’re the perfect hiding spot for child predators. If your kids are going to end up talking to someone you’d rather them not, it will likely be in a chat room. Have them promise they’ll never visit them and check up on them often.

6. Do Not Talk to Strangers

The main difference in social for kids and social for adults is that kids have no need to talk to strangers online. They lack the ability to properly assess someone’s character based on subtle cues and they should have plenty of personal friends already online to keep them busy! Social for children should be a means of catching up, not a means for meeting new people.
If your child has special needs they’ll likely need special attention when it comes to the web. If you feel more comfortable allowing your child to use social media only when you’re present, you’re well within your right as a parent to set that standard. First and foremost, keeping your child safe online should be your priority.

How do you keep your children safe from social media predators?


Guest Author Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.

Ultimate Online Guide to Becoming an Autistic Support Teacher

Autism is a neurological disorder that typically affects an individual’s sensory and social development. In some people, autism can also affect cognitive and motor development. The condition typically begins to show signs in a child prior to age three. In some cases, a diagnosis is not made until adulthood although symptoms must always be present during childhood.

According to the latest statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders is 1 out of 88 children. For boys, the rate is 1 out of 54. Many classrooms in today’s public schools will have a child with an autism diagnosis. Many teachers, doctors and human services professionals will work with at least one child who has an autism diagnosis during their career. Some choose to make their careers out of helping children on the autism spectrum grow and thrive. Autism support teachers are essential members of an autistic child’s support team and with today’s increase in the rate of diagnosis, the demand for qualified autism support teachers is high.

We have compiled the best resources available for helping one decide if becoming an autism support teacher is the right career choice. These resources will help those interested in working with autistic children learn what skills and education will be needed in order to pursue a career in special education. The following resources also provide information on the process for securing one’s dream job as an autism support teacher. In addition, we have provided several ideas to help autism support teachers be successful in the classroom.

Please click here to see this list of best resources.

Guest post by: Rianna Stanley from Masters In Special Education.

SpecialMoms Parenting Magazine – Feature Interview With Drew Long

Have you had the opportunity to download your FREE digital copy of the SpecialMoms Parenting magazine?

If you haven’t what are you waiting for?

In this premiere issue you will meet inspiring women with a passion to help others. You will learn how these motivating mom entrepreneurs juggle the demands of
caring for their families, advocating for their child, all while running a business or building awareness through a charity or blog they created.

Meet inventors, award winning authors, bloggers and more!

Pictured above is Drew Long, creator of Caroline’s Cart.  The first ever patented shopping cart for children and adults with special needs.

To read more about Drew and her journey to become a mom entrepreneur click here.

blogging tips for beginners  When you decide to start a website, you not only have to think about how you want to design it, but also how are you going to market it.  Marketing is the key in all business, online or offline, and will be a foundation to your success.  Taking the necessary steps to get your website noticed on the search engines is not a complex process, but it does take some time and effort.

The very first thing you can do is to start a blog.  Blogging is an excellent way to start bringing traffic into your website.  Let people know why you started a site, and what you intend to do with it.  How are you going to help people and be any different than the next guy?  Blog posts that contain keyword-rich content will help your site rank higher in the search engines,

although it may take some time for this to happen.  Get your voice out there and be consistent.

  • Write with your audience in mind – What is it that your target market wants to read about?  How are you able to solve their problems with your site or product?
  • Engage your reader by asking them questions – The simple way to know what your readers want is to ask them.  Make them want to leave comments and suggestions regarding your content.  Once your audience feels like they can engage with you, trust begins to form and a solid relationship can be created.
  • Clear, concise headlines – Make sure your readers know what your content is all about.  Having a headline that centers on an issue the reader wants to know about will draw them in and make them want to know more from you. 
  • Call to action – Once you’ve wrote your epic content, make sure there is a call to action following the blog post.   You can offer them something in return for signing up on your email list.  This can be a free report, e-book, or set of articles that help them solve a problem.
  • Social networking –Social media is such a big part of online marketing in today’s world.  If you want your website to get noticed you must become a part of a social community.  You will be able to expand your readership, and gain a larger following.  The reach that social media has is vast.  This is not something you want to pass up when trying to build your business.
  • SEO – Optimize your website with keyword rich content.  This can allow your ranking to be higher within the search engines.  SEO is not something that can be learned overnight.   It will take some time, effort, and patience on your part but it can be a helpful technique in getting your website noticed.

No matter what way you choose to market your site, just make sure put your audience at the forefront of everything you do. They have chosen you as a valuable source of information by even coming to your site and reading your content.   Your audience definitely plays a factor in how you should market yourself and your site.  Be transparent and unique in your delivery and you will be sure to build lifelong relationships with people that like and trust you. 

5 Tips to Help Mom Entrepreneurs With Time Management

time-management Managing a home based business is becoming more and more popular with the increase in number of mom entrepreneurs.   However, working from home is not as easy as it seems.  Some moms find it hard to manage their time and run a business.  Knowing that at the end of day you spent your day productively is something that mom entrepreneurs ask themselves all the time. Are you a work at home mom?  How do you manage your time?

As the saying goes “Time is Money”. Therefore, we should value our time to make sure that we will not have any regrets later on. We need to budget our time and we need to spend it wisely.

1. Start the day with a plan. Usually moms get up before other family members to plan their day. Spend some minutes to come up with activities for the day then list them down on a piece of paper in priority of what needs to get done first. I usually try to think about things the night before, so when I start my day I know what needs to be done.

2. Organize your workplace. Mom entrepreneurs do have their own workplaces and these should be kept organized. Make sure that your office is not a mess because if it is, you will not be able to concentrate on your work. Instead of working, you would be distracted by the dirt scattered around, and when you need to find that specific paper it’s hard to find.  I personally have an issue with this one.  My desk has stuff all over it and it’s very frustrating to me.  I do try every weekend to clean it up, so I can start my week off organized, but by the middle of the week there is just stuff everywhere.

3. Don’t spend much time on reading emails or checking your Facebook account. These are among the distractions that must be avoided. If you are working, make sure not to open your email or Facebook account as these will just eat much of your time. Rather, concentrate on your mom on laptop work and perhaps, if you are finished early, you can then check your email. Again another issue I have.  I actually know moms that do not open email or Facebook, and actually have a scheduled time in their day that they get back to their emails.  Try it and see if this works for you.

4. Schedule everything that needs to be done in your day. Since you are a work at home mom, there are other things like preparing dinner, laundry, homework time and so on. Make sure to set a schedule for these tasks. You can do them before starting your work, or you can do them on your break.

5. Stay positive. As a mom entrepreneurs there are days that just don’t work out.  You get a phone call from school or a call from a frantic client.  

Don’t let it derail you from what you need to get done. Always look at things positively and your day will end up with great results.

Along with these 5 tips, your self-discipline also plays a huge role.  If you are not disciplined or motivated you will fail.

{REVIEW} Cozywoggle – The Car Seat Friendly Winter Jacket

coat 1 Meet the Cozywoggle, a car seat friendly winter jacket.

Why do I say “car seat friendly“?  We all know how annoying it is to put our children in heavy, puffy winter jackets and then trying to stuff them in their car seat.  It’s like a task, they hate to be confined and then adding the heavy winter coat makes it even more uncomfortable.  So to appease them we tend to loosen the seat belts, which then puts them in harms way of getting injured if you get into an accident.  As the coat compresses from an accident it now makes the seat belts very loose, as you have originally tightened them to fit the coat and not the child.  Think of the coat like a pillow.

“As a general rule winter coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash.” from the Consumer Reports News.

So what are you to do?  You can turn your child’s coat around but if it were my son that would never fly.  See Jacob has special needs, if I turned his coat around he would have a fit.  Why?  Because it’s not the right way you wear a coat and would completely throw him off.  Or you can pile a few blankets on, but again for my son that wouldn’t work either.  So enter the Cozywoggle.  The ability to still have your child wear a winter coat safely.

How Does It Work?

Basically it’s just like any other winter coat.  It’s made from heavy-duty wind/water resistant polyester, and is lined with cozy fleece.  But it has two side zippers, as you can see in the pictures below:

coat 2 You can see I unzipped the one side.

  coat 4 Now both sides of the coat are unzipped, making it more like a poncho.

coat 3 My silly guy playing peek-a-boo, but really showing the fleece on the inside of the coat.

coat 5

As you can see the Cozywoggle goes all the way up to a 6T (Comes in sizes 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4, 5 and 6.)  Which works very nicely for some kiddos who have special needs that are still in car seats or strollers.

Can be used with any 5-point harness car seat – either forward or rear-facing.

To get a better idea of how great this coat is, check out the video below.

To order this coat, please visit the Cozywoggle site here, to order directly from them.

To sum up this review we love our Cozywoggle.

(Disclosure: I was given a Cozywoggle coat to facilitate this review.  No compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.)