These days mobile devices are the most common way of accessing the internet, and online safety is now firmly in your child’s hand. This means it is now more important than ever to talk to your children about the possible dangers of being online.
Constable Care Child Safety Foundation CEO David Gribble says the rise of social media and “always having connectivity” has broadened the scope of online cyberbullying. It can come in many different forms and can lead to detrimental effects both emotionally and physically.
Some of the common signs to look out for may include:
- sudden withdrawal from technology
- unease about going to school
- secrecy about online activities and changes in mood or behaviour.
It is important to maintain open lines of communication and nurture trust between you and your child: don’t demand that you child give you access to their device because this might further encourage them to be more secretive in the future.
The Constable Care Child Safety Foundation currently offers a free cyber-safety incursion called ‘Screen Name’ to all WA primary schools. Technology can also assist in helping you keep your children safe online. The Wangle Family Insights (WFI) app helps families approach cyber safety together using real time behaviour analysis, live alerts and helpful educational resources. WFI are currently offering a free 30 day trial. For more information visit https://wanglefamilyinsites.com/
Take the time to talk to your child and discuss with them what to do if they are being cyber-bullied.
Tips for parents
1. Encourage your child to come to you if anything disturbs or frightens them online. Take the time to listen and reassure them that they won’t get into trouble or have the device or Internet access removed.
2. Monitor online activity and know what sites your child may visit. Ask them to be your guide and show you what apps or websites they love and why.
3. Teach children how to keep information private online and make them aware that what goes online stays there forever.
4. Develop trust between yourself and your child and encourage them to tell you about any concerns they have. Take the time to listen and reassure them that they won’t get into trouble or have the device or Internet access removed.
5. Keep an eye out for changes in your child’s behaviour.
6. Check ratings. Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media and tech for your kids. Common Sense Media rates and reviews all types of media for children, teens and families. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/reviews
7. Familiarise yourself with school policies that protect against cyber bullying.
8. If you feel you child is being cyber bullied, contact the school to report the problem.
For more information on 'Screen name' cyber-safety incursion for secondary schools click here: http://bit.ly/2jX1OeN
For more on Wangle Family Insites and your FREE 30 day trial of the app click here https://wanglefamilyinsites.com/