Feeling baffled by your child’s mobile world?

Feeling baffled by your child’s mobile world?

Have you ever stopped to think and take stock at the seemingly destabilising effect technology has had on modern day parenting? Gone are the days when ‘children were seen but not heard!’  Today, we find ourselves in a situation where our children far outstrip their parents in their knowledge and know how on all things technological.  Just watch a baby pick up a mobile for the very first time.  The reaction is almost instinctive. For most parents the relationship of a child with technology is often baffling.  In truth, children are born into this technological society, whilst parents have to try hard to understand and catch up with a world that is not altogether obvious.  It also raises issues such as child-parent relationship and the balance that needs to be achieved. When looking at these issues, it is easy to ask parents and educators to be informed.  There is a mountain of information out there on the different aspects of the mobile world our children inhabit so easily.  The better we understand it the better we understand them. Vodafone has made the process much easier by putting together all their resources in an easily accessible website and facebook page in a campaign called www.ibrowsesafely.com.mt.    The site is intended as a fully-fledged resource with practical information and advice as to how to take informed decisions as to the delicate balance of online safety and mobile freedom. The ibrowsesafely campaign is brought to you by Vodafone Malta in support of BeSmartOnline.  Biography  Mikela is a graduate in International Relations from the University of Malta.  She holds a post-graduate degree in Management...
The 5-minute guide to deal with your children on Facebook

The 5-minute guide to deal with your children on Facebook

Everyone is on Facebook these days. You can keep in contact with old friends or make new ones. Distance is not a problem and even the Holy Father is just one click away. So you shouldn’t be surprised if your child is drooling to get a step closer to One Direction by joining one of these networks. Even though Facebook’s policy is not to allow children under the age of 13, this is rarely enforced since it is much more difficult than it seems to implement age restrictions online. The truth is that 40% of all kids have an active Facebook account. Even more shocking is the fact that in 1/3 of the cases, the parents, not only knew that their children joined Facebook (before the permitted age) but they actually helped their kids setup the Facebook account! The age restrictions where not imposed to make our kids miserable by keeping them away from Justin Bieber (even though that would be a very legitimate excuse), but rather to protect them.I would like to use the analogy of a knife to help you understand social networking usage. When our kids are still tiny, we tend to keep them away from knives. When they become toddlers, we give them plastic knives which are pretty much harmless (and useless) but which make them feel independent whilst teaching them about the use of real ones. When they are old enough to have developed a good sense of control and judgment, we start giving them real knives while the family is eating even though guardians still intervene when they need to cut a piece...
Preventing cyberbullying

Preventing cyberbullying

“No body likes me….I can’t believe what my ‘so-called’ friends are saying about me” Bullying is not just physical- using technology to tease, embarrass and spread rumours are also bullying behaviours. Do you know what your child is chatting to his/her friends about?  What is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying occurs when a student, or several students use technology to: makes fun of another student does not include him or her out of things in activities on purpose excludes him or her from their group of friends or completely ignores him/her calls him or her hurtful names spreads false rumors about him or her or tells lies sends mean texts and tries to make other students dislike him or her These hurtful things can occur through: text messaging, pictures/photos or video clips, phone calls email instant messaging or chat-rooms and social media websites. Did you know? A recent survey conducted by the Malta Communications Authority revealed that 98% of Maltese children between 8 and 15 years old have access to Internet in the home.  Also, within the same age group 56% have access to the Internet on their mobiles. Other statistics show that 41% of children between the ages of 8 and 11 have a Facebook account in their name despite the minimum age of 13 to register.  What can I do? Set up the Vodafone Guardian Application . The app enables parents to stay in control in a number of ways, including: Blocking specific contacts or mobile phone numbers to prevent bullying text messages or calls Specifying times during which their child can make or receive calls, use apps, access the Web and...
Family Online Safety Institute – a word from David Miles

Family Online Safety Institute – a word from David Miles

There is no doubt, that the Internet has had a profound impact over the last decade or so. We are entering an era where the pace of technological innovation once confined to the work place is now a feature of our daily lives. Parents in particular, are keen to ensure that children benefit from the exciting devices and content now part of most homes. Schools too, increasingly benefit from the use of technology as part of their students curriculum. And yet, with opportunities come risks. The very technology that connects us, can also make us vulnerable to those that would want to do harm. This leads to anxiety and is accentuated by stories in the news that infuse the public conversation with negative notions that are largely unsupported by research or the positive experiences of most children and young people. The generational divide is further compounded by rapid technological change. The trouble is that although as adults we instinctively, know how to protect children offline, we often assume that their greater technological expertise will ensure they can look after themselves online. But knowledge is not the same as wisdom. That’s why the Family Online Safety Institute is a proponent of good digital citizenship. In this, parents and educators play a vitally important leadership role. Ensuring that offline responsibilities and values are transferred online. Seeking both at home and school to equip children with the critical skills to make wise choices online. For more information on the Family Online Safety Institute go to www.fosi.org  To see how FOSI fosters a dialogue about what it means to participate responsibly in a digital world...
Cyberbulling

Cyberbulling

Prevent cyberbullying Written by: Veronica Montanaro   “No body likes me….I can’t believe what my ‘so-called’ friends are saying about me”.   Bullying is not just physical- using technology to tease, embarrass and spread rumours are also bullying behaviours.   What is cyberbullying? Cyberbullying occurs when a student, or several students use technology to: makes fun of another student does not include him or her out of things in activities on purpose excludes him or her from their group of friends or completely ignores him/her calls him or her hurtful names spreads false rumors about him or her or tells lies sends mean texts and tries to make other students dislike him or her   These hurtful things can occur through: text messaging, pictures/photos or video clips, phone calls email instant messaging or chat-rooms and social media websites.   Did you know? 98% of Maltese children between 8 and 15 years old have access to Internet in the home.  Also within the same age group 56% have access to the Internet on their mobiles.  Other statistics show that 41% of children between the ages of 8 and 11 have a Facebook account in their name despite the minimum age of 13 to register on Facebook.  Do you know what your child is chatting to his/her friends about?   What can I do? Set up the Vodafone Guardian Application. The app enables parents to stay in control in a number of ways, including: Blocking specific contacts or mobile phone numbers to prevent bullying text messages or calls Specifying times during which their child can make or receive calls, use apps,...