Good Digital Parenting
Blog | Nov. 27, 2013

Give the Gift of Digital Presence

Founder, Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc

Receiving presents at holiday time is tradition in many homes. A number of children acquire new electronics, cell phones, and other neat connected gadgets.

But have you considered giving your child the gift of an online presence this year instead?

With more and more colleges and employers searching out applicants online, it’s not only a gift that’s fun, it’s a gift that can open up doors and opportunities. Just imagine: a potential college scout or employer types your child’s name into a search engine and their website – which highlights all the fantastic things they do – pops up. Sounds pretty great, right?

The best part is that it’s not hard to do. Purchasing them a URL and encouraging them to start building their own real estate online is simple and cost effective. (You can buy a domain name for as little as $9.99 per year.)

Tips for building and managing their online reputation:

While teens have become more aware of their online reputation and how social media can affect their future, they still need some help from adults.

Keeping a virtual profile that they can be proud of takes discipline and awareness. So, here are some tips to help ensure their social networking and media habits will contribute positively to their digital footprint:

  • Help teens set-up Google alerts with their name. I’m sure you have heard this over and over, but have you actually done it? Take the time to do it now.
  • Tell them to think about their posts and comments before posting them. Can they be taken out of context? Do they hurt/harm anyone?
  • Talk to them about the photos they post. Would their grandmother or future employer approve of them?

Ask them how well they know their friends online. Teach them that it’s just as important to interact with people who are making good choices online. And, if they feel uncomfortable with something someone is doing or saying, they shouldn’t be afraid to unfriend them.

Helping your child build a positive online presence isn’t hard once you've established some guidelines and know how to help them. Plus, doing it together can be a great time for bonding and learning. And who knows, it might even inspire you to start your own little something online.

The Internet is not going away and the whole family can start owning their digital real estate now!

Cover image courtesy of Flickr.