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The Internet, a Road Filled with Other Drivers

The Internet a Road Filled With Other Drivers

So, you don’t want to be one of those crazy parents that believes that social media will be the death of your child. You trust the child you’ve raised, as you should. You don’t want them to think you’re looking over their shoulder every minute of the day. Makes sense to me. We’re parents, not prison guards. Yet, is that really the wise position to take? What about everyone else that lives in this same crazy world of relationships on the internet? Are you feeling as good about all of them? We’ve all the heard the horror stories in the news.

When my eldest was 15 it was time for her written drivers exam to obtain her drivers permit. We were all pretty excited. Her excitement came because she was eyeballing the liberation of providing her own transportation to her life events. I too was eyeballing liberation, not being the one to transport her to all the events.

First round she didn’t take her glasses so immediately failed her vision test. I found out later that this was on purpose! What? She didn’t think she was cute enough with them on. In the second round she didn’t fair too well either. Every time the computer screen flashed a wrong answer she freaked, which made her get even more wrong answers. Third round…a repeat of the second.

By the fourth I was literally on my knees in the public restroom begging God to help her pass. As all parents of teenagers know, when your teen is miserable they love to spread it around. Everyone was ready for this particular misery to end.

Thankfully, we drove away from the DMV that day thrilled that we were both finally headed toward liberation. She got behind the wheel to begin her foray into the world of drivers. I entered the world of one less thing on my to-do list.

My daughter is grown now and since that day of liberation she has had 2 fender benders, one minor collision and totaled two cars. The crazy part is the only accidents that were her fault were the fender benders, which also happened to be in the driveway of our home!

There were others drivers and circumstances on the road that I wish we had been warned about. Dangers to her I didn’t think about when I was on my knees praying for her to pass. Of course I had heard tales of horrific accidents but, at the time, didn’t consider that it could happen to my family.

Walking away from two totaled cars was nothing short of a miracle.

Even though it was another’s fault, there was still a price paid by my girl, both in lost automobiles and rehabilitation of her beat up body.

If anyone had offered me a warning system that would let me know that careless drivers were within my daughter’s proximity, there wouldn’t have been anything holding me back from signing up! If there had been some means of communicating the danger ahead for my precious daughter, I would have been knocking down the door to get the tools I needed to divert trouble.

Like the roads my daughter drove, this amazing social media world that our children navigate, holds its own dangers. Like careless drivers on the road, there are people that traverse this world whose intention is to bring harm. From peers that can bully, to those that have much more nefarious intentions, they prey on the naïve and unsuspecting. So, this leads me to wonder why wouldn’t all parent’s sign up for a monitoring service like a friend of mine works for, Zabra? My husband and I wouldn’t let our daughter drive without car insurance, yet we allow our kids to drive on the roads of social media without insurance, seat belts and a good understanding of the “rules of the road.”

Like the roads my daughter drove, this amazing social media world that our children navigate, holds its own dangers.

Thankfully, there are ways to divert trouble. Isn’t that reason enough? But what’s even greater about the service Zabra offers is that it recognizes that you know your child better than anyone. Parents understand where their child is vulnerable. It enables you to act upon that understanding. You can choose how to protect. Not to overly shelter. You are given the opportunity to keep them from harm’s way while they are still learning to protect themselves.

Knowing what I know now about how vulnerable our children can be when we least expect it, I’d certainly be one of the first to sign up. So Mom and Dad, how about you?

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Darlene, President of The Grit and Grace Project, is crazy enough to jump in the deep end then realize she may not have a clue where she’s landed. She has spent her adult life juggling careers in the music business, been an author, a video producer, and also cared for her family ... some days drowning, other days believing she’s capable of synchronized swimming.

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