"Answer me this -- do you know who your child made friends with on Facebook yesterday?" Tim Woda, co-founder of UknowKids.com, poses this question whenever he discusses Internet safety with concerned parents.
The ability to talk about boys with my daughter will definitely come in handy soon. We're going to be at "that age" in no time. I don't know if me being gay is going to make it easier for her to confide in me, but if it does, great.
Studies show that parental involvement is the number one factor in keeping kids safe online. As with any other activity, understanding what our kids do online means being involved and asking questions.
The whole point of global connectivity is that information is everywhere. If your children don't want you -- or grandma, their soccer coach or their secret crush -- to read something or see a picture of it, it most certainly doesn't belong on the Internet.
A golden rule that we learned in kindergarten is still a golden rule: Honesty is the best policy. Both of my boys, ages 6 and 4, know that I had cancer, and they know that I have to get checked every year to make sure that it doesn't come back.
I regularly find myself listening to harsh exchanges between parents and children out in public and think "is that how you ever thought you would sound back when you decided to have children?" And I also wonder, "do you even know how you sound?"
Once they reach a certain age, our children spend the majority of their waking hours away from us, and in the end it is incumbent upon them to know when to steer clear, when to say no, and, most importantly, when to speak up -- and loudly.