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Do You Prep Your Kids for YouTube?

youtubeThink you can keep your kids off the Internet? It takes a lot more than keeping them away from a computer.

A mother who wrote to the Ask Amy column this week about a YouTube video that included shots of her ten-year-old son at a friend’s birthday party didn’t get much sympathy from the columnist – it’s 2009, lady, get with it.

OK, Amy was nicer than I am:

“I think all concerned parents regret the loss of privacy their children will experience as they grow up in our virtual world,” she said. “But it is your son’s world to inherit, and you should work with him to make sure he is cautious — and aware of the consequences. Tell him that when there is a camera around, he should assume you — and the rest of us — are watching.”

It is hard to balance out what’s OK with you and what isn’t. And it isn’t out of line for the mom to say “eh, I’m not so happy, can you take my kid off of there.” Whether the parents acqueisce is up to them – and they need to be thinking about playdate relations when they make that decision.

I’ve opted out on putting photos of my daughter with one little friend on Facebook specifically because I know his parents aren’t comfortable with that – and I can respect their wishes on a personal level. To each his own.

But outside of the mom-to-mom/dad level, keeping our kids images off of YouTube or Facebook is nearly impossible. So where we used to prep our kids for being polite and helpful at other people’s houses, these days we have to make them photo and video savvy before leaving the  house.

Don’t let someone take a picture of you doing something naughty – it could end up on Facebook. Don’t say something inappropriate in front of a video camera – it could end up on YouTube.

Have you prepared your kids for this eventuality?

Image:YouTube

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