Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

Parent/Guardian & Staff Level Resources

 Subjects of focus contained within these resources:

  • Cyber safety
  • Bully Prevention
  • Sexting
  • Online Safety (Including Grooming Precautions)
  • Online Gaming and Chat Room Safety Precautions

 

Knowledge of these subjects is vital to help Parents & Educational Staff more comfortably approach speaking with, and supporting their children as they are confronted with modern dilemmas.

This knowledge base provides strategy and empowerment through information and awareness, in-turn enabling the guidance of our youth to safer online and societal experiences.

All of the resources available on this site are tailored to particular age groups.

Cyber Bully & In-Person Bully Prevention

TITLE 6, Chapter 12, Part 7 New Mexico Administrative Code 

Grooming – Precautions for Parents & Staff

– Talk to your Teen

It’s unlikely that you can stop your child using the internet, nor can you constantly monitor their online activities, but you can talk to your child on a regular basis about what they do online. By talking openly with them about online relationships, they can quickly ascertain the kind of behavior, which is appropriate or inappropriate. Ask them whether they have any online friends or if they play online games with people they haven’t met. This could then open up conversations about the subject of grooming.

– Check Privacy Settings

In order to give your child a safer online experience, it is important to check privacy settings or parental controls on the networks, devices, apps, and websites they use. Disable location sharing if you can. If you use location-sharing apps to check where your child is, remember that these could always be used by strangers to follow your child without their knowledge. Ensure that you check options so that location information is never shared with anyone except those they have permission to share with.

– Monitor Social Media & Live-Streaming use

It’s important to be aware of what your child is sharing on social media and with whom. Create your own profile and become “friends” with them or follow them so that you can monitor their activity. Similarly, always check on them if they are live streaming and implement privacy controls. Choose a generic screen name and profile picture that hides their identity. You may also feel more comfortable being present each time they live stream.

– Stick to True Friends

Make it clear to your child that they should not accept friend requests from people they don’t know and to verify friend requests with people who they do know. Encourage them to only interact and engage with ‘true friends’ i.e. those friends who don’t ask personal questions such as close family and friends. Remind them to never agree to chat privately with a stranger or someone they don’t really know and to never divulge personal information, such as mobile phone numbers, addresses, passwords or the name of their school.

– Discuss Healthy Relationships

Talk to your child about what a healthy relationship looks like and how to detect someone who might not be who they claim
to be. Explain that groomers will pay your child compliments and engage in conversations about personal information, such as hobbies and relationships. They may admire how well they play an online game or how they look in a photo. Groomers will also try and isolate a child from people close to them, such as parents and friends, in order to make their relationship feel special and unique.

– Be Supportive

Show your child that you will support them and make sure they understand they can come to you with any concerns they may have. They need to know they can talk to you if someone does something they are uncomfortable with, whether that is inappropriate comments, images, requests or sexual comments.

Child safety experts have identified key grooming patterns and advise parents to look out for:

  • Secretive online behavior.
  • Late night internet or smartphone usage.
  • Meeting new friends in unusual places.
  • Becoming clingy, developing sleeping or eating problems or even bedwetting.
  • Lack of interest in extra-curricular activities.
  • Having new items, such as clothes or phones, unexplainably.
  • Seem withdrawn, anxious, depressed or aggressive.
  • Having older boyfriends or girlfriends.

Resources for Children and Teens