By Rachel Mortimer | Posted: Saturday July 31, 2021
Pauline Spence talked to around 50 parents discussing statistics around the online space for teenagers and giving some practical advice to support them with their children.
Her statistics showed that at least a quarter of children are accessing inappropriate material under the age of 12 as well as a number of other sobering statistics.
One of her points was that the way in which people behave online should just be a mirror or extension of the way we behave in the real world. It is therefore very important to continue to teach the values that we do and expect that these values extend to the online space. This is very much a focus for us here at Kavanagh College.
Some very practical and sensible strategies were given to parents. One was to be aware of what is happening for them in their digital world and keeping up with our new cyber safety hub is one way of doing this. The other obvious way is to talk with our young people. Set expectations of behaviour together. Ask questions.
If something objectionable happens, stay calm. If we overreact as parents and do things like taking their phone from them, they will then not tell us what is happening because losing their phone feels like losing their lifeline. As adults, we too often feel 'lost' if we forget our phones. So, take a deep breath and problem solve with your child so that they do bring these incidents to you, or at least to someone they trust to help them decide what to do.
One of the more confronting pieces of advice from Pauline was to 'Be the change'; ie how addicted to our phones are we? Do we model reasonable use of our phones or are we on them at any spare moment? Attached to this article is a summary from Pauline on tips for parents
We will continue to work with you as parents to explore the online space together as it is not going away and there is a lot of good things happening. Please check out our cyber safety hub mentioned in another article and continue to talk with your children about their online experiences.