PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Inspired Parenting
 
Comments: 1
Article views: 247
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Inspired Parenting's badges.
 

Connecting- Cell Phones & Children

03 April 2014, 10:37

The statistics are clear our environment and those of our children is changing, as technology becomes a necessary part of daily life. A study by Jonathan Douglas, Director of The National Literacy Trust in the United States, shows that “more children today own cell phones than books.”

While we may be surprised and sad to witness the end of childhood as we know it, we can neither ban our children from having a cell phone, nor ignore the dangers it poses.

Taking on the cyber world may feel intimidating to most of us, yet it is our responsibility, as parents to equip our children to be safe in the world. So how do we ensure their virtual well being?

We install free safety features on their mobile devices, and we talk to our children in the same way we would educate them about appropriate touching, being safe around strangers, and sex.

Communicating openly about cell phones is essential in empowering our children to protect themselves, bearing in mind that despite our best efforts they can always have access to illicit material through their friends.

Research shows that parents who communicate honestly with their children, have youngsters who are closer and more connected to their parents. They feel respected, consult with their parents when making decisions, and are less likely to engage in high risk behaviour.

Open communication is more than a list of rules the parents enforce, it is a two way dialogue of explanations, discussions and debates between the parent and the child. Here are some tips to begin talking about cell phones even before your children request one:

In age appropriate language talk about the fact that there are ‘good and bad’ people in the world, and we need to be wary of making friends with strangers, even if they say they are a child.

Explain that in the same way we do not give out personal information when someone phones our landline, we must keep our name, age and address private on our cell phone. Encourage your children to always ask you if they are unsure.

Make it clear to your youngsters that they should only use their real name when texting friends and should always use a fake name when playing online games. Also discourage them from joining chat rooms, and clicking on links. Educate your child as to what a chat room is, and that should they feel the need to go into an online chat room, they should be weary of revealing who they are and where they are from, in fact, you might take the stance that your child never reveals their identity to anyone they might have met in a chat room

Tell your children that viewing pictures of naked people might seem funny, but that most people that appear naked in pictures have been abused. Depending on the age of the child you would give them more information about the pornographic industry, informing them that it is against the law for children to be viewing sexually explicit material, or for anyone to send children nude pictures.

Inform them that once we send a text or a picture, it is stored in cyber space where anyone can access it, even if we delete it. State that before we send anything, we must STOP, THINK, and question would I be happy to see that on the front page of a newspaper? If we are not sure, we should delete it.

Cyber bullying is unacceptable and it is essential to teach your children to tell you or another trusted adult the moment someone starts bothering them. If necessary the number of the mobile device should be changed or shut down to prevent further abuse.

Be a part of your children’s social networks without involving yourself in their discussions online. By all means discuss anything you’re concerned about online, with your child later, offline.

Maintain a strong connection with your youngsters by sending them messages of love and support. Encourage them to contact you if they feel uncomfortable in a situation, so you can act immediately, and always be available when they phone you. Take an interest in their online games, and share interesting information with them.

Sustaining a strong connection with your children will ensure that they do not seek the attention of another adult. As James Humes says. “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
CharlesSzente
How to create long term wealth fo...

I believe, in the real world, life actually follows reasonable principles. Despite the baffle and Bull, the short term push and pull, even exploitation, eventually the multitude of forces kicks you back to reality. For us that simply means, if as a country we want to grow, we have to invest.  Read more...

16 comments 528 views
Submitted by
Gail Shorkend
The world

How the world has changed. It used to be a peaceful world. You had stress. But the stress is not like these days. Read more...

10 comments 111 views
Submitted by
Linamandla Mpolase
Letter to the Capitalist God

I constantly ask myself what is the point of everything? A complex question and awfully deep but I know it is a question not unique to me. Possibly many of you have had similar thoughts. But really what is the point of it all? Read more...

107 comments 915 views
Submitted by
Dewald Esterhuizen
Humanity a rarity

I am reading so much upon this lion being killed and I see the outrage in America and the extreme extend to which they go to persecute this dentist. Read more...

21 comments 876 views
Submitted by
Jenny Reid
Identity Crisis! What to do when ...

While these people must deal with the inconvenience of applying for new passports, there’s a far more sinister issue at play. Read more...

0 comments 348 views
Submitted by
Ann Muigai
Focus on what truly matters

“Never” is an infectious word, like a flu virus. Once you’ve caught it, everything loses its sparkle. It’s commonplace to hear people say and swear that they will never do, forget or say something. Read more...

2 comments 216 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.