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Monitor kids’ online activities

Should parents need any more reminders they should be monitoring their children’s social media and other online activity, the Cincinnati Police Department would likely be happy to give one.

Last week, the Northgate Mall in suburban Cincinnati had to be shut down on what should have been one of its busiest (and most profitable) days of the season. Throngs of teenagers had gathered at the urging of a social media post, and when fights broke out in the food court, law enforcement stepped in.

In addition to closing the mall, and the damage done to the businesses affected, there was the not-so-small matter of some of those kids having to be arrested.

Now, the police department is planning an increased presence at the mall for the remainder of winter break.

But what is missing here? Police say more than 200 teenagers arrived unsupervised after the mall’s curfew, which requires minors to be with an adult.

Of course, some of those kids may very well have disobeyed their parents and/or lied about their destination. But what about the ones whose parents think it is more important to be their children’s friend than to give them discipline and boundaries?

What about the ones squeamish about checking what their kids are seeing, doing and responding to online; and squeamish about saying “no,” when those young people ask to do something or go somewhere the parents know they should not?

We are guessing the business owners and police department dealing with this particular situation wish parents would get over the fear of not being liked for a moment and teach their kids about responsibility and consequences, instead.

Everyone involved will thank you later.

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