Over the last couple months, I've written about my boys and the social network geared towards kids -- YourSphere. During that time, I've spent time looking not only at the network, but also the people behind it.
Mary Kay Hoal has a passion for kids being safe online. I've learned some new things at her blog, and admire her spirit and drive for sharing her message. I thought it was so cool that she auditioned for her own show on Oprah's new network and then was disappointed when a combination of technical glitches and non-responsiveness from the network caused her video to be pulled from the competition. You can still see it here, and maybe learn a couple things.
I admit that I worry about kids who aren't allowed online at all -- because they're not being given the tools they'll need to navigate that world when they're older. I don't think my 3yo needs to spend any time online, but when kids are 8, 9, and 10 I think it's a good idea to start teaching them how to use the tools that are available and how to use them safely. I also think it's imperative as a parent that I keep a close eye on what they're looking at online and know the sites they visit.
Mary Kay is working hard to spread her message to as many parents as possible. Even if your kids aren't interested in YourSphere, I think it's worth your time as a parent to read her message and get some great tips and ideas on keeping your kids safe online.