Table Talk: Viral Video Shows The Reality of Online Stranger Danger

Coby Persin, a YouTube star with over 1.3 million subscribers, recently used his platform to remind both parents and children just how dangerous social media can be.

In the video, “The Dangers of Social Media (Child Predator Social Experiment),” Coby made a fake Facebook profile of a 15-year-old boy and friend requested three girls (12, 13, and 14 years old) with their parent’s permission.

He then messaged the girls, and after a few days, invited each one to meet him in real life.

The parents in the experiment believed their daughters wouldn’t agree to meet the fake 15-year-old Coby had created, but what they found surprised them. 

Each of the girls agreed to meet him in person. One at a park. One invited him to her house after her parents went to sleep. And one girl even snuck out of her house and jumped right into his car.

The parents were shocked and so were the girls. 

They didn’t see the boy they thought they met online. Instead, their parents were there waiting for them with Coby to remind them of the incredibly dangerous decision they just made.

Watch for yourself.

Then, share this powerful video with your kids to make sure they realize just how dangerous meeting online strangers can be.

After hearing about a news story out of Los Angeles, Coby released this video to show how easy it is for a pedophile to pick up an underage child using social media.

In that news story, a father awoke at 2 AM and saw that his teenage daughter had left the house. When he went to look for her, he saw a man guiding his daughter into a car.

This wasn’t an experiment. The man pretending to be a teenager was actually 27. And the danger was real.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Online Stranger Danger

As your kids get ready to go back to school, take this opportunity to remind your them how to protect themselves from online stranger danger.

  • Keep your profiles set as private.
  • Remember that people can easily pose as someone else online.
  • Online profile photos cannot prove someone’s identity.
  • If someone sends you inappropriate photos, tell an adult immediately.
  • Never give out personal information such as your address, phone number, or school name.
  • Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know — even if you have mutual friends.
  • If someone asks you to meet them in real life, tell an adult immediately.
  • NEVER meet a person you met online in real life.

Related Post: Dangers of Talking to Strangers Online

Many parents think their children would not agree to meet an online stranger in real life. But as the parents in this video found out, parents might be surprised by what they learn about their children’s social media habits.

The only way to be absolutely sure that your child is practicing safe social media habits is to see it for yourself. Parents need to be involved with their child’s online social world. With MamaBear, the Peace of Mind Parenting™ app, that is easy. 

The free app alerts parents when their child gets a new follower and posts a new message or photo. Parents can also set up notifications so they get special alerts when their child gets a private message or uses certain words or phrases (such as “meet in person”, etc.).

Available for both iPhones and Androids, this app is a must-have for parents looking to protect their children from the very real dangers of online strangers. 


Table Talk: A Conversation About the Dangers of Tracking a Lost Phone

Parents are becoming more aware of the dangers of technology, especially as it affects their children and family. They’re beginning to understand the risks of online bullying, inappropriate social media sharing, and digital strangers.

But most parents are probably much less aware of another lurking danger that, while usually frustrating to all involved, can seem innocent — a lost cell phone.

Talking to your teens about what they should do if they lose their cell phone may not sound like an important conversation, but teaching your teen the steps to take if they lose their phone could save their life.


You Can Use a Tracking App to Locate Your Phone

Many teens know how to locate a missing phone by using apps or tools. Some tracking apps are included in the software on a device such as:

There are also tracking apps that can be downloaded or installed on devices such as:

  • Prey
  • Lookout
  • Avast
  • AccuTracking

Parents need to have a conversation with their teen about how they should use these tools. They can use the tool to locate a missing phone. But identifying the location of their phone doesn’t mean they should attempt to retrieve it.

Only Retrieve Your Phone If It’s in a Known, Secure Location

A teen should attempt to retrieve their phone if — and only if — it is in a safe and known location.

Tracking apps may pinpoint a phone’s location at a friend’s house or area of the house. In that case, it is safe to retrieve the phone.

But if the phone is at any sort of unknown address or public location, you should never attempt to retrieve the phone.

Never Retrieve a Phone from an Unknown Location


While it may seem tempting to go after a phone once you know its location, it’s potentially very unsafe. You never know who may have your phone, what they are willing to do to keep it, or if they have it to lure a child to them.

After using a tracking app to find his missing phone, 18-year-old Brampton, Ontario native, Jeremy Cook decided to attempt to retrieve the phone. He and a family member drove to the location of the phone where they came upon a car of three men.

What happened next according to a report by CBC News in Toronto is a tragedy that could have been easily avoided.

As Cook tried to retrieve his phone from the men in the car, the car began to pull away. Cook grabbed the driver’s door and was then shot.

Cook died at the scene.

Report the Missing Phone and Location to the Local Police

Tracking a missing phone can lead you to an extremely dangerous situation.

If you locate a missing phone using a tracking app, do not attempt to retrieve it yourself if you don’t know the address. Instead, call the local authorities for assistance.

Had Cook reported the missing phone to authorities instead of attempting to retrieve it on his own, things could have ended very differently.

While deaths related to tracking phones are relatively few, there is still a very real possibility that a teen (or adult) could encounter a hostile situation while trying to recover their missing phone.

No one should attempt to recover their phone on their own, and parents need to make sure that point is clear to their teens, who may not understand the real danger of tracking their phone.

Technology has many dangers, but many of those dangers can be avoided with the right tools and parent-child communication.

For help with managing the dangers of technology, parents can use MamaBear, the app for Peace of Mind Parenting™. Available for iPhones and Androids, this free app provides parents and teens with tools that connect and protect them through messaging, social media, and GPS location technology.

Table Talk: A Survival Guide for Single Fathers Raising Daughters

To help dads who are doing it on their own, we have compiled a few discussion tips that dads can use while talking to their daughters.

Raising daughters is difficult. As girls grow, they are forced to deal with complex emotions, physical changes, and social situations. As a parent, you are right there beside them dealing with the same complicated challenges.

But it’s even harder to navigate with those situations while raising a daughter on your own — especially when you are a single dad.

Single fathers raising daughters face a unique challenge. They have to play both sides and fill the role of both mom and dad.

To help dads who are doing it on their own, we have compiled a few discussion tips that dads can use while talking to their daughters.

1. Compliment her on her accomplishments and character as much as her beauty.

Dads may think that the fastest way to improve their daughter’s self-esteem is to shower her with compliments about how she looks. But positive reinforcement shouldn’t stop at beauty.

Dads need to complement their daughter’s imagination, strengths, and intelligence as much, if not more than, her physical appearance. It’s more important to show girls that they are more than just a pretty face. The self-esteem and deeper character that this kind of reinforcement builds will serve her better in life.

2. Ask questions about her interests, hobbies, and friends.

As a dad, talking about Justin Bieber, Frozen, or the latest fad in nail polish may not be the ideal way to spend your dinner conversation. But if something interests your daughter, it should always interest you.

Get to know what goes on in your daughter’s world by asking her questions about her interests, hobbies, and friends. These are things she would likely share with her mom so make sure she has no problem sharing them with you instead. And don’t, under any circumstances, belittle her thoughts or dismiss her interests. Daughters respect their fathers and your interest, advice and support means the world to her.

3. Talk about successful, powerful woman.

If your daughter doesn’t have a positive female role model in her life, make sure that you expose her to some.

Tell her stories about inspirational women that are leading their industry, creating change, or making waves in a male-dominated field.

Make sure that she is aware of these stories and sees you support these women, and that you encourage her that she could do the same.

4. Teach her about respect and how it relates to sex.

A father’s natural instinct may be to discuss sex and boys from a negative standpoint. They want to tell their daughters that both are scary and dangerous. But dads need to talk about sex and relationships in a healthy way.

Don’t teach your daughter to fear sex and boys. Instead, teach her to respect her body and demand the same respect in relationships so she can make safe, healthy decisions when it comes to boys and sex.

Related Post: Helping Your Teen Avoid Risky Online Behavior 

5. Look her in the eyes and show her you are paying attention.

Kids crave their parent’s attention. So make sure you give your daughter the attention she deserves by ignoring other distractions (like after hours  work, phones, tv, etc.) and having one-on-one conversations where you look her in the eyes and show her you are there to listen.

Mom or dad, being a single parent is a challenge. You may sometimes feel like you are half the team playing the whole parenting game, but you are still the biggest and most important person in her life. And for those times it may seem a bit overwhelming,  help is out there. Seek out information, parenting groups, friends and other support to give you the confidence that you are doing the right things.

MamaBear, the app for Peace of Mind Parenting™  can help parents struggling to keep up with their children in a face-paced world. The app includes tools for monitoring social media, GPS locations of your children, and even safe driving speed monitoring. Parents have a big job, but that job is a littler easier with this free app available for both iPhones and Androids.


Table Talk: How to Talk to Your Teenage Son

Offering guidance and advice during your son's teen years is vital to helping them make good decisions. Learn the best ways to talk to your teenage son.

Raising sons can be hard in different ways than daughters  — especially when the teenage years hit.

Teen boys are hardwired to take risks, push boundaries, try new things, and test their surroundings. These habits help them explore their world, discover new things, and prepare for adulthood, but this exploration can be hard for parents watching them, and parenting them, as they go through this time.

Parents want and need to form close bonds with their sons so they can help guide them through this challenging and experiential time. Offering guidance and advice is vital to helping sons learn to make the right decisions, and that starts with a clear line of communication between parent and son.

But talking to teen boys isn’t always easy, so here are a few tips on how to talk to your teenage son.

Don’t Be Upset If His Answers Are Short

When talking to your teen son, you may get responses like “yeah, sure, okay, and fine.” Teenage boys tend to be brief in their conversations.

Don’t take it personally and don’t let it make you upset or angry. Showing frustration with your teen son’s lack of communication will only push him away and turn short answers into no answers.

Also, don’t take his lack of response as an opportunity to fill the conversation with your thoughts. Don’t turn every conversation into a lecture. Understand that this may be your son’s way of communicating for the time being and don’t let short responses stop you from asking questions.

Ask Open Ended Questions

If you find it difficult to have conversations with your son, try asking open-ended questions that aren’t as easy for him to ignore or shut down.

An open-ended question cannot be answered by a simple one-word answer. It requires more thought and consideration to come up with an answer. An open-ended question would be “What was the best part of soccer practice?” as opposed to “How was soccer practice?” or “Which friend’s house are you going to?” instead of “Are you going out?”

Related: Helping Your Teen be Safe on Social Media

Show an Interest in His Interests

It may be tempting to ask your son questions about the particular parts of his life you want to know about — school, grades, and work. But kids rarely want to talk about those things.

Begin your conversation with questions about things that you know interest them. Maybe you don’t have the same interests as him or care as much about those topics, but it is important to show your support regardless.

Then, as the conversation gets going, move on to the details of school and work.

Start Talking Early

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you have young sons, start opening the lines of communication early on. Your child will be less likely to shut you out if you have been cultivating and growing a healthy relationship from a young age.

And talk about the big issues early. Teens will have more resistance to conversations about alcohol and drugs when they are already in high school.

Regularly Have Dinner Together

Teens begin searching for and craving autonomy. That means they may push you away, spend more time with their friends, and frequently hide in their rooms. So counter their retreat actions by having regular dinners that are expected and planned. When dinner together is a routine activity, it will be hard for your son to avoid.

Looking for even more tips to help you communicate with your sons and daughters?  Check out the entire MamaBear series on table topics that can help you have better conversations and bring you closer as you gather around the dinner table.