It’s time for yet another cyber fairytale! Today we are going to explore the adventures of Hansel and Gretel in the Deep Online Forest.
Children are especially vulnerable when it comes to technology. Even if we think they are ready to have a phone, a tablet, or a computer, there are risks involved to consider, and sometimes as a parent you will need to step in and make sure your child is safe.
This story is an excellent example of preparing your kid to navigate the deep forest that the cyber world can be! Let’s read.
Once upon a time, there was a family that consisted of a mom, a dad, and their two children, Hansel and Gretel.
The parents were extremely busy, both working full time jobs and spending time at the office after business hours regularly.
They were not able to spend as much time with their children as they would have liked. They left in the morning before Hansel and Gretel woke up, and came home late at night.
The parents worried about the children being alone all day, as they had heard rumors about kids getting lost in the deep online forest.
“What can we do?” cried the mother to the father.
“We have to work to pay the rent, buy groceries, and make sure our kids have a good education. How could we know if our kids are spending their time in the deep online forest? How can we keep them safe?”
The father had heard of parenting tools they could install for their home network. That way, they could limit where Hansel and Gretel would play and how long and, hopefully, reduce any risks of potential danger. They decided to investigate together.
Children are smart, and Hansel and Gretel were already very computer savvy, too!. They navigated the online forest frequently, and although they had never been in the deepest part of the forest, they had heard horrible stories: kids getting lost, families losing their house, their money being stolen, and even their own names!
These stories frightened Hansel and Gretel – like their mom and dad, they wanted their family to always be safe and united.
However, they didn’t want to stop going to the online forest. It was just so big and beautiful! Some of the areas were surrounded by flowers and pretty trees, and when you search for something in particular you can easily find it.
The deeper you go into the forest, however, the more danger could be waiting.
Hansel overheard their parents talking about the parenting “control” tools, and he immediately told Gretel. They didn’t like the idea of being controlled, and so they decided to enter the deep online forest once again to play games and browse.
Hansel and Gretel were contacted in a chatroom by someone they didn’t know.
“Click on this link now!,” she insisted.
Then Hansel and Gretel received emails, text messages and multiple invites in their Fairybook (a popular social media site), about a MAGICAL game in the deep online forest.
All they had to do was to click on the link to be transported to a sweet area, full of colors and fun games.
It was said to be a place where kids could play and do anything they wanted, and in this amazing place “all their wishes would come true!”
Up until now Hansel and Gretel had hesitated because their parents told them to be cautious when something appeared to be too good to be true. However, the latest message clearly said that this would be their LAST chance to get into this wonderful location in the deep online forest. Behind that link to access the magical game lived the wicked Cybermonsters. Once kids enter Cybermonster territory by clicking the link, all their information, pictures, homework, games, friend contacts and anything else they have in their device becomes haunted and their technology can no longer be used. They can’t break the spell unless their family pays a very high price.
Right before Hansel and Gretel decided to click on the link, something amazing happened. Both of their parents called them from work to check in on them! Hansel and Gretel told their parents about how they were about to click the link to get access to the online deep forest, that even though they were hesitant before, they wanted to try it because they were afraid once the parental controls were in place they could no longer have fun in the online forest.
When the parents got home, they decided to enjoy a special night and talk more about safety. The parents hugged Hansel and Gretel and thanked them for their honesty and for not clicking the link.
They had done their research on the parental controls, they were going to keep bad and dangerous places away, but all the other fun activities they do in the online forest can still be accessed.
The parents talked to Hansel and Gretel, and told them that even with these tools in place, they still needed to remain vigilant because clicking on any Cybermonster’s link could be devastating for their family safety. As parents, they could do their best to protect Hansel and Gretel but they weren’t going to to step in and make all their cyber decisions for them. They told the kids how much they trusted them to make cyber savvy decisions in the online forest.
Hansel and Gretel jumped up and down, full of joy that they could still enjoy what they loved about the online forest. They promised to never click on a link full of promises, especially if it comes from a stranger.
And they all lived Happily Ever Cyber!
My goal is not to scare or frighten you, but to make sure you have all the information and tools at your disposal to PROTECT what matters most to you.
Hansel and Gretel didn’t have to stop enjoying the online forest, and you don’t have to ban online activity from your kids. It is ESSENTIAL that they know how to stay safe, and more importantly to go to you if they have questions.
What do you tell your children to empower their cyber journey?