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Chappy’s Corner

14/02/2018

Technology is an integral part of life for all of us. As parents, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the constantly evolving new developments in technology that attract children and teens. While we may not always be able to keep up with every latest thing, we can introduce a framework for our family so that the younger members can develop a healthy and safe relationship with technology.

Here are some top tips and conversation starters to encourage your teenager to use technology responsibly:

1.      Technology is a part of life. Help your child recognise that it’s a privilege to have this ‘tool’ and that they should use it responsibly. That means sticking to the rules you set up for its use.

2.      It’s an important lesson to learn that online material is forever.

3.      How does your child want to be seen in the world – not just now, but when they’re an adult looking for a job?

4.      Respect is key. Teach your child not to say or do anything online that could hurt or humiliate anyone, just as you would expect them to behave in real life.

5.      They must only make friends with people they know in real life and should not do anything that they know you would be unhappy with, such as forwarding material that would hurt or embarrass someone else.

6.      If they ever receive material that is private, such as personal or explicit photos or videos, they should delete them immediately. Failure to do this could have very real consequences.

Young people are open to talking about online safety if you show them you understand the huge role that social media and the internet play in their lives. This means engaging them in a discussion around the issue (rather than just laying down rules). It can be helpful to use a strengths-based approach where you focus on the solution rather than just the problem. Creating a conversation about what the respectful and responsible use of technology looks like can be a great way to get started. You might be surprised to find that many of your students have solid strategies for keeping themselves safe online.

Chappy Cam