How to Teach Teens Internet Safety

News reports give you the impression that the Internet is a haven for cyberbullies, sexual predators, and identity thieves. You are concerned for good reason: Your teenager is often online and seems oblivious to the dangers.

You can teach your teenager Internet safety. First, though, consider some things you should know about life online.


Teens can access the Internet on mobile devices. The rule that the computer should be placed in a common area of the house still has merit. But with a tablet or smartphone connected to the Internet, your teenager may have more access to the online world than ever—and without your supervision.

A father handing his son the keys to the family carThe fact that some people have auto accidents does not make it wrong to drive a car. The same principle applies to the use of the Internet. Your teenager needs to learn to “drive” it cautiously

Some teens spend excessive time online. “I turn on the computer intending to check my e-mail for five minutes and end up watching videos for hours,” admits a 19-year-old girl. “I need a lot of self-control.”
Teens might reveal online more than they should. Shady people can piece together a teenager’s online comments and photos to find out such information as where he or she lives and goes to school and at what times no one in the family will be at home.

Some teens do not understand the repercussions of what they post. What is posted online stays online. Sometimes embarrassing comments and photos are discovered later—for example, by a prospective employer doing a background check on a job applicant.

Despite such concerns, remember this: The Internet is not your enemy. Rather, what leads to trouble is unwise use of the Internet.


Teach your teen priorities and time-management skills. Part of becoming a responsible adult involves learning to put first things first. Family communication, homework, and chores are more important than casual Internet use. If the amount of time your teen spends online is a concern, set limits—even using a timer if necessary.Bible principle: Philippians 1:10.

Teach your teen to think before posting. Help your teenager to ask such questions as: Could the comment I am about to post hurt someone? How will this photo affect my reputation? Would I feel embarrassed if my parents or other adults saw this photo or comment? What would they conclude about me if they saw it? What would I think of someone who posted such a comment or photo?—Bible principle: Proverbs 10:23.

Teach your teen to live by values—not just rules. You cannot look over your teenager’s shoulder every moment of the day. Besides, your goal as a parent is not to control your children but to help them “have their powers of discernment trained to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:14) So, instead of emphasizing rules and punishment as the primary factor, appeal to your teenager’s moral sense. What type of reputation does he want to have? For what type of character traits does she want to be known? Your goal is to help your teenager make wise decisions, whether you are there or not.—Bible principle: Proverbs 3:21.

“Kids know more about technology. Parents know more about life”
Navigating the Internet, like driving a car, requires good judgment—not just technological ability. Your guidance as a parent, therefore, is crucial. After all, it is as Internet-safety expert Parry Aftab observes: “Kids know more about technology. Parents know more about life.”

Abortion - World Today

Abortion is the intentional termination of pregnancy, as compared to spontaneous termination (miscarriage). Abortion is closely allied to contraception in terms of women's control and regulation of their reproduction, and is often subject to similar cultural, religious, legislative and economic constraints. Where access to contraception is limited, women turn to abortion. Consequently, abortion rates may be used to estimate unmet needs for contraception.

However the available procedures have carried great risk for women throughout most of history, and still do in the developing world, or where legal restrictions force women to seek clandestine facilities.Access to safe legal abortion places undue burdens on lower socioeconomic groups and in jurisdictions that create significant barriers. These issues have frequently been the subject of political and feminist campaigns where differing viewpoints pit health against moral values.

Globally, there were 87 million unwanted pregnancies in 2005, of those 46 million resorted to abortion, of which 18 million were considered unsafe, resulting in 68,000 deaths. The majority of these deaths occurred in the developing world. The United Nations considers these avoidable with access to safe abortion and post-abortion care. While abortion rates have fallen in developed countries, but not in developing countries. Between 2010–2014 there were 35 abortions per 1000 women aged 15–44, a total of 56 million abortions per year. The United nations has prepared recommendations for health care workers to provide more accessible and safe abortion and post-abortion care. An inherent part of post-abortion care involves provision of adequate contraception.

Your Smile—A Gift to Share

WHEN someone gives you a beaming smile, how do you respond? Most likely you smile back. And you probably feel happier too. Yes, genuine smiles—whether from friends or total strangers—are infectious, and they evoke good feelings. A woman named Magdalena commented: “Georg, my late husband, had a warm smile. When our eyes met, I felt relaxed and secure.”

A sincere smile indicates positive emotions, such as amusement, happiness, and pleasure. Indeed, “smiling . . . seems built into our nature,” noted an article in Observer, an online journal of the Association for Psychological Science. Even newborns, the article said, are able to “interpret facial expressions with great precision.” The article also stated: “Not only do people deduce useful information from smiles, they also use this knowledge to direct their own behavior.”

Researchers at Harvard University in the United States studied a group of elderly patients and their responses to the facial expressions of health-care providers. When the caregivers’ facial expressions “were perceived as more warm, caring, concerned, and empathetic,” said the researchers, the patients felt more satisfied and their physical and mental well-being  improved. The opposite was the case when the caregivers’ nonverbal communications distanced them from patients.

When you smile you may also be doing yourself a favor. The benefits, studies suggest, include increased confidence and happiness and reduced feelings of stress. Frowning, by comparison, may have the opposite effect.


Magdalena, mentioned earlier, was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses during World War II. She was sent with other family members to the Ravensbrück concentration camp in Germany for refusing to adopt Nazi ideology. “At times the guards stopped us from speaking with other prisoners,” she recalled. “But they had no control over our facial expressions. Just seeing my mother and sister smile boosted my morale and strengthened my resolve to endure.”

Perhaps you feel that life’s anxieties give you little cause for smiling. Remember, though, that feelings are usually preceded by thoughts. (Proverbs 15:15; Philippians 4:8, 9) So, hard though it may be, why not try to dwell on positive, pleasant things whenever possible? Bible reading and prayer have helped many people to do just that. (Matthew 5:3; Philippians 4:6, 7) In fact, the words “happy” and “joy” and their derivatives occur hundreds of times in the Bible! Why not read a page or two each day? Who knows? You too may find yourself smiling more often.

Also, do not wait for others to smile at you. Take the initiative; add a little happiness to someone else’s day. Yes, see your smile for what it really is—a divine gift that enriches you and the people who see it.