Rules for Kids' Online Behavior
I think that if you explain that you have rules for online behavior because you want to protect her safety and privacy, she will understand more. But it's also, of course, very important for tweens to become their own individuals, experiment with their identity, and become independent. In the Internet age, I completely understand how terrified we all are that kids are doing this in public!
Talk to her about using privacy settings, not posting risky or racy items, thinking before she posts comments or texts (i.e. not being too impulsive!), and understanding that everything she posts can be used by others (forwarded, copied, etc.) in ways she never intended—and that could come back to haunt her. Talk about the importance of staying on age-appropriate sites that have content you approve of. And remember to discuss the issue of cyberbullying—whether she's being bullied or doing the bullying herself.
Information provided by Caroline Knorr, Parenting Editor of Common Sense Media. For more tips about teaching your kids to be safe online, visit Common Sense Media.