Secrets to raising happy kids

Tips for parents for their children's use of MySpace, Facebook and other social networking Internet sites.

You don't need to forbid their use, but you do need to establish some rules for your home. These might include:

  • Be sure your children agree never to meet someone offline whom they have met online.
  • Limit the amount of time your children can be on social networking sites, say to 30 minutes or an hour a day.
  • Visit your child's Web page once a week or so.
  • Be sure that no identifying details are included-no school names, sports teams names, the town they live in, or where they hang out.
  • Look at the photos to see if they inadvertently give clues to personal information;.
  • Talk to them about their screen names-they should not be too sexualized or give away too much information.
  • Make sure your children are being honest about their age.
  • Ask your children or teens to think about the messages they are posting and what message they might be giving someone who they do not know.
  • Be sure they use the protection features on their account; for example, they want to be able to moderate comments from friends before they're posted.

Debra Haffner book signing:

Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Jewish Community Center
3200 California Street
San Francisco, CA

For more information on Debra Haffner and her book, visit:

Buy the book on Amazon: What Every 21st Century Parent Needs to Know

About Debra Haffner

Debra W. Haffner has been a parenting educator for more than twenty-five years and speaks regularly to parent groups across the country. The author or award-winning books, including From Diapers to Dating and Beyond the Big Talk, she appears frequently on national TV, including CNN, Today, and The O'Reilly Factor. She and her husband are the parents of two children, a twenty-two year-old daughter and a teenage son.

She holds a Master's in Public Health from Yale University School of Medicine and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. Currently the director of the Religious Institute, she is also an ordained minister with the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut.

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