Social Media is currently having a huge impact on our children's lives. Even if your child does not have a phone they can still be exposed to social media through other friends, and will always seek alternative ways to do what everyone else is doing. It is clear that most children at High School do have a phone, and all are accessing social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Tik-Tok, or even Facebook? Mobile phones are providing children with an opportunity to participate in social activities that adults use which are highly inappropriate for them. To make it even harder, new apps continue to be developed even as you read this. Social interaction in today's society is mainly played out using phones, and not having one makes your child feel like they are missing out. This makes it really hard as caregivers to say NO when you know yourself, how much you use your own device to socialise. We live in a new world!
Unfortunately, social media at present continues to have a negative impact on children’s lives and we need your support to minimise the impact of the following concerns involving the use of social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Tik-Tok, or Facebook. Children use these apps to bully or harass, request explicit images, or ask others to complete inappropriate acts and post online.
As a school we spend time educating children on the dangers associated with using social media, and other important issues teenagers face when growing up (Child Protection Curriculum). We have learnt that education alone does not work by itself. The most effective way to support your child is to ensure we all foster positive relationships so that children can feel comfortable talking about concerns they have.
As a caregiver you can control the following levels of restrictions on your child's device, provide clear expectations regarding appropriate use, and investigate ourselves the concerns and tips on the latest and most common apps being used. Please think about what measures you do to make sure your child is safe online. It would be really good if you could have a talk with your child about the areas of concern. Remind them that these concerns are a police matter.
As a school we organise SAPOL presentations about internet safety targeting the concerns listed above.
You can read more about the Think U Know program and find various resources at https://www.thinkuknow.org.au
Thank you for your support.
Chris Braun, Wellbeing Leader
There are a number of things that you can do to be a supportive parent or caregiver to your child. If you'd like to understand more about the importance of being a supportive parent/caregiver, read the fact sheet on supportive parenting and teenagers. Or you may want to chat to other parents and caregivers in the forum, to hear their tips or share your own experience.
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