Over 65% of teens have experienced cyber bullying . And 1 in 4 parents are overwhelmed with technology and don't know what to do ow where to start. The digital world is a dynamic and complex space to navigate for adults, teenagers and children - how do we keep our children safe from the dangers that lurk out their? To get informed and empowered as a parent here are some important resources that will allow you to understand and help your children.
Digital technology, mobile phones and social media
In many ways things have changed so much for children these days, particularly the use of digital technology, mobile phones and social media. And because of these changes, the pressures of fitting in, being liked, and doing well have only magnified. Navigating these social challenges and the rapidly changing use of apps and technology can be a confronting emotional and mental minefield for parents and children.
Teens think Facebook is only for "old people"
Being a parent or adult born in a different decade can be confusing and challenging - remember back when nobody had a mobile phone at school, and there was no such thing as social media? Did you know that most young kids think Facebook is only for "old people?"
Outside of a few Facebook posts and selfies, many of us really have very little idea about the ways that children are using digital technology, app's, mobile phones and social media, and how they are being effected. Sure kids might tell you they use Snapchat and Instagram, but what other apps do they use?
Developmental issues can be caused by too much screen time
And it's not just the more obvious dangers like cyber bullying and online predators that we need to look out for, there are also huge developmental issues that can be caused by too much screen time, whether that be playing video games, chatting online, watching Netflix or anything else that involves staring at a screen for long periods of time..
Knowing the issues caused by excess screen usage, even Facebook and Google stop their staff using phones and laptops during meetings. The average teenager is spending 6.5 hours or more on a screen, here are some of the things that too much screen time is actually doing to everyday family life
The following 5 online resources can help you to guide your child to a healthy relationship with device use and the internet, and create family agreements around sustainable and safe screen use.
1. The Esafety Commissioner - www.esafety.gov.au
A federal government initiative with numerous resources including the 'screen smart' parent tour. It also provides a complaints service for incidents of image-based abuse.
Are you aware of the pressures that teen girls face online? My teenage niece Madie, fell in and out with a group of mean girls at school. An innocent action at a party was misunderstood and quickly escalated into hurtful words online. The girls, and one girl in particular, started spreading nasty rumours... Here's what happened next)
2. Cyber Safety Solutions - www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au
Includes a great tip-sheet for kids.
3. It's Time We Talked - www.itstimewetalked.com
A website dedicated to the confronting and challenging reality of pornography and the increasingly easy access to it via the internet. Provides information and resources for young people, parents, schools and community organisations.
4. ThinkUKnow - www.thinkuknow.org.au
ThinkUKnow is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft and Datacom and delivered in partnership with all State and Territory police and Neighbourhood Watch Australasia.
5. Family Zone - www.familyzone.com
Family Zone is a comprehensive cyber protection service which enables you to manage all family devices at home when out an about.
Phone counselling and advice for young people and parents
- Inspiro's FREE Youth & Family Counselling service: 9028 0153 (Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm)
- Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 (open 24/7): www.kidshelpline.com.au
- Parentline Victoria: 13 22 89 (7 days; 8am - midnight)
- Eheadspace: www.eheadspace.org.au
Free Youth & Family Counselling service
Inspiro provides a free youth counselling service for young people between 12 to 25 years who may be dealing with depression, anxiety, bullying, harrassment, managing relationships or any other issue. Counselling is also provided at no cost for families with young adults and teens.
Our counsellors are available in Lilydale, Healesville, Belgrave and Yarra Junction. To make an appointment, call 9028 0153. Inspiro’s Youth Health Clinic welcomes all teenagers and young adults living, working or studying in the Yarra Ranges.
We also provide a youth health service which enables teens and young adults to discuss any health concerns including sexual health, mental health, body image, nutrition and general healthy living.
To make an appointment, call 9028 0153.