Talking to your child about cyber safety
Talking to our children about their safety online can seem like a difficult conversation to have. Where do I start? What do I say? Are there things that I shouldn't say?
As parents, we are always wanting to do the right thing and keep our children safe but sometimes it's difficult to know how to get these messages across. The introduction of multiple social media platforms has made this discussion even harder!
t’s easy to be dismissive of a child’s online activity because you don’t understand it or care much for it yourself, however playing an active role in their online activities can help you to protect them and can assist you in guiding them to become more aware of potential risks online.
Cyberbullying is becoming an increasing concern for parents. It’s a term we all hear so often but what does it actually mean? It’s a form of bullying or harassment that is done through the use of technology.
Cyberbullying is more likely to occur with secondary students due to the access to technology and can have significant and long lasting impacts on a child’s emotional wellbeing. Australian research suggests that one in five students has experienced bullying online, that’s an alarming percentage.
The eSafety Commissioner has a number of suggestions to follow no matter what the age of your child. I’ve listed a few below;
The internet is a big place, with a big memory and sometimes there are things posted that may be harmful or upsetting for your child. If you need help to get any such material removed from a social media service or platform the eSafety Commissioner can help. You can make a report to eSafety on your child’s behalf if they are under the age of 18 years.
On top of everything else that we need to teach our children, it’s important for us to try and help develop their digital intelligence. It’s important that we teach them how to navigate both the real world and the online world because the reality is that everything is moving more towards having an online presence and we all need to understand how that works.
Try and build your child’s confidence and understanding of what’s acceptable and not acceptable online. Remind them that words hurt and if it’s something they wouldn’t say to the person’s face or if it’s something they would be embarrassed saying in front of their parents or grandparents than don’t say it, don’t type it. Let’s teach our kids to be both resilient and kind.
Christie joined the Townsville Catholic Education Office as a Student Protection Officer at the start of Term 1. Christie has thirteen years of experience of working in child protection delivering front line services to vulnerable children, young people and families. Christie is a mother of four with a stepdaughter who is about to commence university and three younger children, two of which attend a Catholic school in our Diocese. Christie is very passionate about her role and strongly believes that child protection is everyone's responsibility.