Cyberbullying and sexting aren't the only things that parents need to worry about when a child begins to use Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites. There can be monetary consequences if appropriate Digital Parenting techniques are not put to use.
Take for instance the case of Patrick Snay, he won an age discrimination suit against an employer, or so he thought. His daughter posted an announcement to Facebook about the victory before the deal was completed. This violated the terms of the settlement and a court agreement. It cost Mr. Snay the settlement of $80,000 and caused emotional distress for his entire family.
In Texas, six families are currently being sued for the actions of their children on Instagram. One family has already settled out of court with the victim's family. The cyberbullying case is being closely watched and could cost the families thousands of dollars in damages. The victim in this case may win, but at what cost to all involved. Emotional and financial consequences for everyone will certainly leave a long lasting impression.
Proper Digital Parenting includes not just monitoring your child's activities, but educating them on the consequences. Those being bullied face emotional, physical and possibly even life threatening situations. Many accused of bullying may face other challenges as well. As a parent, not knowing what your child is doing online can result in lawsuits, monetary damages being awarded and spending thousands in legal fees to fight for justice or defend your child.
Many parents may not know if their child is being bullied and on the other side of the coin are the parents who don't even know that their child is a bully. In both situations, parents can be blindsided and not realize until it is too late. Maintaining an open dialogue with your child can prevent and avoid any emotional or financial consequences.
The most important aspect is keeping your child safe and educated. Reviewing your child's online activities is not an invasion of privacy but can be a way of building a strong relationship with your child while teaching them about appropriate behavior on social media. Technology and the instant access to people it provides is not going away. Keep your children safe, stay active in their social media life because failure to do so could cost you money.