Online Pressures

Online Pressures

Peer pressure is a particular influence that a peer group exerts onto another individual. This influence encourages these other individuals to change, or, to conform to the peer group’s attitudes, values, or behaviours. Peer pressure is common and is a hallmark of child and adolescent experience. Nowadays, with the use of the Internet and most of all through social networks, peer pressure has taken a new form. Currently, children and adolescents do not only form part of a social group at school or outside of school, but also online. Through the use of chat rooms and communicative sites such as Skype, although physically remote, children are constantly interacting with peers, thus, still making them highly susceptible to peer pressure. Private groups formed by peers on social networking sites may be an instigator for members to conform to the main idea of that particular group. An example of this is group chats, were one will find a number of friends communicating on a single chat log. This type of online chat may lead to what is termed as cyber bullying, which may in turn lead to online peer pressure. This form of pressure is instigated when a group of members feel compelled to conform to a particular idea or topic in a bid to feel part of that group, in this case identifying with the bully. This scenario often occurs as individuals within this particular group aim not to appear different due to fear of not being accepted. Another situation common in schools is that arguments between children and young adolescents, which arise on the school playground, are continuing online....
Selecting appropriate applications 

Selecting appropriate applications 

From a very young age children have access to the use of digital devices. With thousands of apps added each week, it is difficult to keep track of what applications are developed. Growing attention is being paid to the role of digital devices as having a potential for learning and development. Developers have created thousands of educational apps, in fact there are over 650,000 apps available targeted at children. In 2012, findings revealed that 80% of the top selling paid applications in the education category targeted pre-school children. This reveals an abundance of apps for this age range and the equivalence of parents ready to purchase these apps for their children. Selecting appropriate applications can be overwhelming, so I’ve put together some strategies that can help to select appropriate applications for your child. Read reputable reviews: It is important to refer to websites, such ashttp://www.bestkidsapps.com/ that provide a review of applications for children. Such sites also divide applications according to age-range, operating device and category. Installing these recommended apps will put your mind at rest that experts have approved them. Look at the details of the application before installing it: Each app provides information about the developer, the category that the application falls under and the age rating. Using applications that are age-appropriate will be more enjoyable for your child. The following is a list of the most popular categories that are searched for. Educational Literacy Mathematics Stories Creative Puzzles See other applications from the same company: If you find an application that you and your child enjoy look up the name of the company to find out if there are...
Time will tell – how times have changed!

Time will tell – how times have changed!

Homework is possibly any parent’s nightmare. Homework with five young children can be daunting at best.  My kitchen table covered in books and copybooks with each child struggling for my attention.  Luckily one of the good things about having five children is the independence they have to achieve at a young age and HW is no different.  That is until one of them is stuck and mummy has to come to the rescue.  One such occasion happened only recently when my second daughter was learning time.  She struggled to make sense of the clock and in my enthusiasm I quickly made a cardboard clock – the same we used at school when I was her age – with two hands and numbers.  I tested her a few times and couldn’t seem to engage her interest when suddenly my eldest called out and asked me to come and look. With my nerves in tatters I ignored her several times, only to have her come and get me.  Expecting to see some new project she was working on or some game she had newly discovered, she surprised me by showing me one of the many online time games that she had found.  Rows of clocks online with an easy to answer section and corrections.  It is not often that I am lost for words but on this occasion I was truly speechless …. ‘Ma, what on earth did you make that clock for – haven’t you heard of Google?’ she said sarcastically. Stupid is an understatement to describe what I felt.It is at that moment that I realised how detached a parent...
Using the Internet to avoid embarrassment

Using the Internet to avoid embarrassment

‘I just ordered toast for lunch…but what I really wanted was a cheeseburger, with tomatoes, grilled onions, and medium size French fries, with a large strawberry shake…urrgh! I could not say it. I hate stuttering’. This post, written by a thirteen year old boy, appeared on Facebook some days ago. Social media can be used by people who stutter either to share experiences or to avoid speaking situations. Children who stutter may experience negative consequences due to stuttering. They might react to the expectations of parents, teachers, peers and others who urge them to speak fluent. Such reaction could be resorting to avoiding speaking situations. It is easier to Facebook then face people. However, it is much better to communicate with people and stutter rather than avoiding interacting and just use the social media. It is important for parents to avoid being the stuttering police and order a child who stutters to ‘slow down’, or ‘take a breath’ or ‘relax, say it again’. If slowing down helped their stuttering don’t you think they would do it? Instead of telling them to slow, for example, parents could slow down their own speech. The best thing a parent can do for a child that stutters is to make sure they have a strong and positive stuttering identity. This includes having an attitude of acceptance and not feeling shame about stuttering. Dreams, passion, determination and talents should determine their child’s future and not their stuttering. Biography    Dr. Joseph Agius is a registered speech language pathologist with special interest in fluency disorders and humour research. He is visiting senior lecturer at the University...
Bringing up the tablet generation

Bringing up the tablet generation

By now you’ve realized that, perhaps without wanting to, you have become a digital parent. This can be fun, exciting and often quite challenging. Children seem to whiz through their gadgets effortlessly and, just when you think you have figured it all out, a new application is released and your child has brand new jargon! The best way to equip yourself for this rapidly changing landscape is to make sure that you are not left behind. We’ve put together a few tips that will guide you towards making the essential first steps in being a successful digital parent or grandparent. Think: about how you guide your family in the real world and do the same in the digital world – don’t be afraid to set boundaries and rules for your child from a young age. Get involved: It is important to know what your children are doing. If you haven’t already, try out some of the technologies that your child enjoys. Even if it takes a couple of tries, it will be worth the effort it takes to be one step closer to your child’s digital habitat. Talk to your child: Chat about their favourite online activities and learn more about the channels they mention. Don’t be disheartened if they use words you’ve never heard. They’ll mention social networks and sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr or SnapChat. There are plenty of online resources to help parents understand more about these activities. It is important to take the time to explore them. Show you care: Show your child that you understand how important technology is to them. This will make...