Meeting Cyber Strangers

Meeting Cyber Strangers

Meeting cyber strangers is a discussion every parent should have with their digital children.Would your child, tween, or teen, meet a cyber stranger in real life? Many times children have a difficult time understanding the difference between cyber strangers they meet in the virtual world and meeting people in the real world. It is probably a good idea to have a conversation or re-introduce the topic to your pre-teen or teenager. Cyber- strangers are constantly searching for online to connect with innocent children. Take time to start a discussion about the dangers of meeting cyber-strangers online and in real life.

Etsy For Teens: 12 Steps To Launch A Business

Etsy for TeensEtsy for teens may be the ideal choice if your teen is considering launching a business. Etsy launched in 2005 as an e-commerce storefront for handmade items. They have remained true to their initial offeringof only selling items made by hand. Many teens have launched successful businesses on Etsy although no one would know the difference between a shop that is run by a minor and a shop run by a member over 18.

Summer is the perfect time for energetic and crafty teens to consider all the steps required to setting up an Etsy storefront. We have collected some talking points to share with your teen to make the process of considering everything involved in being an entrepreneur. To make it easy we have a checklist to consider if this is the right time and the right opportunity for your teen to start an online business.

12 Steps To Launching An Etsy Biz:

  1. An adult is responsible for the account since the teen is under the age of 18 is considered a minor. If you use PayPal it also requires the teen to be 18 to open an account. The parent, who is the responsible party, will have to open the PayPal account and link to the Etsy storefront their teen has opened.
  2. The parent will be required to have a credit card on file.
  3. All items sold in the store must be handmade.
  4. Consider the time it takes to produce items, fill the orders, process payments, package and ship items. Remember, the holidays may require even more time to fill orders if your products are popular as gifts. Teens deciding to sell on Etsy must consider the time involved to run a successful store.
  5. Make sure the name of your business reflects the product you sell in the store. Customers have to be able to find you. Clever names are just that, clever, but will that business name bring you customers if the name does not describe accurately what you have to offer? If you sell ceramic plates, do not call your business, Tabletoppers. That could imply anything from tablecloths to placemats to candleholders. A more specific name would be Kate’s Custom Dinnerplates.
  6.  Accurately label your different products knowing that customers will be doing a keyword search looking for specific items. When you identify the products in the store, you will want to label them the way a future customer will try to find them. Etsy has a keyword tool on their Home Page.
  7. Be personable! If you are not excited about your product, do not expect customers to be either.  Show your passion and personality. What makes your shop unique? List this in your Shop Owner Section. Remember to repeat some of those keywords that describe your product here as well.
  8. Be prepared to communicate. Your customers will have questions about colors, size, delivery date etc. You will need to respond to these promptly just as you would in a stand alone store.
  9. Consider the policies you want your customers to be aware of. You will have a section titled, Policies where you discuss forms of payment accepted, refunds, exchanges, shipping etc.
  10.  Etsy will charge a fee to run your store on their e-commerce site. You should contact them to find out what their current charges are. Before you price your  items you will want to  factor this information into the price of the merchandise.
  11.  Sales tax is collected in Direct Checkout. You will need to keep itemized records for tax purposes.
  12.  Here are the Terms and Conditions:  Here are the Do’s  and Don’ts:

There are numerous benefits to learning a business. On the job training is usually the best teacher. Although this seems like an extensive list, keep in mind thousands of people have successfully accomplished each step and had success selling online. This list if offered as a blueprint to guide your teen on starting a business by using an Etsy storefront. Good luck!




Digital Dinners For Busy Families

Digital Dinners

     Have you considered digital dinners? No, I am not talking about finding recipes online. Where do you go for dinner inspiration when you cannot think of anything to cook? If you have dinner burnout, then maybe you need to consider going to your computer and ordering. Let me introduce you to the newest e-commerce trend: digital dinners to go.

     Your dinner, with a little advance planning, is literally a click away.  Companies are combining online ordering, tempting menus, pre-packaged ingredients, and overnight shipping to send you a savory dinner in a box. You select the menu and the recipe and instructions are included. Each kit arrives with fresh ingredients, never frozen, step-by-step instructions, and photos. You do the prep work and cooking. We have found four companies that offer digital dinners. We have provided a brief introduction to what they have to offer.

 4 Online Digital Dinner Choices

Hello Fresh  The delivery is free. It is a subscription model that you can cancel with a seven day notice.  You pay the same price each week. 3 meals for 2= $129.00

Blue Apron  The minimum order is for three meals and the delivery is free. You must join their service and select a plan to get the pricing for a typical meal.  Sorry, we could not provide that information.

Plated   Each week the menu changes. They are very up front with their prices. A recipe we selected, Panko Baked Chicken with Quinoa and Asparagus was $60.00 plus shipping to serve four people.

Chefday!  They state that all their recipes are created by top chefs and feature step by step videos. For every meal you purchase, they donate one to the Food Bank of New York City. A recipe for Parmesan Veal for 4 was $54.95. They only deliver in New York City.

     Since this is a fairly new concept, many have a limited delivery area. You would have to check with each site to see if it is available to be shipped where you live.

      How do feel about not going to the grocery store but having the grocery store come to your door? I think it is a novel idea. It certainly beats frozen dinners.




Summer Reading List For Families

Family Summer Reading List

   Social School 101 has collected even more books to add to the  summer reading list for families. Our latest selections are filled with fabulous ideas on how to turn those long summer days into exciting moments meant to be shared. We have some wonderful solutions to that age old statement you have heard many times before, “I am bored, I have nothing to do all day.”  Now, is the time to start your list of summer activities and we have some great recommendations.

     This month in our summer reading list for families we have four you can choose from. Last month we shared four of our favorites to give your summer a jumpstart. You can review them here. We just had one problem when we started our search for ideas. We could not limit our favorites to just a handful. Lucky you! We found an abundance of books written by talented parents just waiting to share their great ideas.

Summer Reading List

Fifteen Minutes Outside is filled with ideas to create quality time outside away from digital devices. It includes ideas organized by monthly chapters.

Family Reading Night  allows parents to start a new tradition and instill a love of reading. Wouldn’t it be great if more families started doing this?

The Creative Family is a small little book with fun crafts and ways to incorporate creativity into your family.

Family Fun Night is the alternative to television that you have been searching for. You will find fun ideas to try, projects, and games.

     We have shared our favorites for our second summer reading list. Do you have any you would like to add to the list?


10 Facts About Cyber Bullying

10 Cyber Bullying Facts

10 Facts About Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a result of any online threats, intimidation, offensive language, continued harassment, or sexual exploitations aimed at your child. Here are some suggestions to follow if a cyber bullying incident occurs with your child.

8 Steps To Prevent Cyber Bullying

  1. Before an incident, talk with your children about specific people they should tell if someone makes them feel uncomfortable online. It could be a parent, teacher, or coach. The important thing is they know they should notify someone right away. Talking about it ahead of time gives your child a plan to implement.
  2. Tell your child not to engage in a hateful online debate. Many times others are trying to lure a victim into a flame war.
  3. Watch your child or teen for noticeable signs of distress. If their behavior changes or they do not want to go to school, you should be asking why.
  4. Keep records. If the cyber bullying occurs over the phone, then make a recording if possible. Log the time of day and how many times your child is being contacted.
  5. If the threats occur online, take a screen shot. Print off all evidence.
  6. Request a meeting with your child’s teacher and school administrator. Both should be present and be aware of the situation in the event it is occurring at school.
  7. Many times schools will not get involved if the cyber bullying is not happening on school grounds. If that is the case go immediately to your local law officials in your area and register your complaint. Take all evidence as proof.
  8. Consider contacting a lawyer if you feel you need to know your rights or if your child is not getting protection.

Our children need to be protected from bullies. If you have a cyber bullying incident, then do not hesitate to take action to prevent it. For further information view the article Cyber bullying How To Deal With It .

Apps To Monitor & Prevent Cyber Bullying

Prevent Cyberbullying

  Cyber bullying is one area all parents are concerned about. We would like to share several great apps that you should know about. Here are a few questions for you to think about:

Would you monitor your child to prevent cyber bullying if you had the opportunity? Are you worried that they are vulnerable? Many parents have these same fears.  It is estimated that every seven minutes a child is bullied.  Almost 60% of children admit to not telling their parents or another adult when they were threated online. How do we protect our children from cyber bullying when they are afraid to let us know they are being harassed?

     We have a list of seven apps for you to consider. These apps allow you to monitor your child’s texts, emails, social accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and smartphones. Some charge a monthly fee. Each provides a variety of services. Find one that you are comfortable using. I think these offer a preventative measure that allows parents to help their child before things get out of hand.

Cyber Bullying Apps Parents Should Know:

1.    Bully Block This app allows a child to report, block, or record a bully. It can capture inappropriate emails, which can be used as evidence. This evidence can be given to school authorities or a Human Resources department if someone is being harassed in the workplace.

2.    Find Help on Facebook Add a bookmark on your child’s Facebook account under the title “Find Help.” This gives you and your child instant help by providing phone numbers and links when an urgent problem needs to be reported.

3.   Go Go Stat This app allows you to try it for free. It will monitor activity on your child’s Facebook account.

4.   Safety Web This allows you the ability to track and monitor texts and instant messages. In addition to monitoring cellphones, they also patrol Facebook, My Space, and Twitter.

5.   Social Shield They offer a free program and a paid service. This app searches social networks looking for alerts. They monitor inappropriate language, drugs, sex, violence, and the addition of suspicious contacts/friends. It also searches photos that have been posted about your child.

6.   U Know Kids this app monitors Facebook, My Space, Twitter, and Instagram. They also monitor all mobile phones: Android, iPhone, and Blackberry.

7.   Mobicip  this parental control app allows parents to set up anInternet filter that can monitor the computer or smartphone.

8.   Net Nanny This is not an app but a software package that you purchase. It protects against pornography, cyber bullying, and online predators. It monitors your child’s social networks and instant messages.

     We all need to work together to protect our children. Please share this list with other parents as one more step in trying to prevent cyber bullying.

Social School 101 is helping parents, children, and teens, to be prepared for a great school year!