Swap Screen Time for Family Time this Christmas

Swap Screen Time for Family Time this Christmas

Are you worried about getting your kids an electronic device this Christmas because you fear they will spend the entire holidays glued to the screen?   As the holiday season draws near, the dilemma of whether to buy technology for your child, or not becomes more difficult. On the one hand you wish to please your children’s wishes but on the other hand you are worried that this will induce passivity and they will glue themselves to the screen for the entire duration of the holidays. The festive season is often associated with family time. Children are off school, parents are on shutdown, or annual leave, either way this creates a perfect opportunity to maximize family quality time, that, of course, you don’t wish to be hijacked by the device that you have just bought for them. Here are a few tips to balance the amount of time that your children spend using technology and spending that well deserved family quality time. Set an example. We sometimes find it extremely challenging to take a technological break. Whilst we continually nag our children to stop playing on their gaming consoles, or tablets, we too find it challenging to ignore that phone call, or that important work email and even more, Facebook. As parents we are looked upon as role models. Children will often mimic our gestures, the way we speak and anything that we do. Set an example and take a technological break over the holidays you will notice that your child will be more responsive to your interaction. Spend time together. Make the most of the Christmas holidays by...
Support to Victims of Cybercrime

Support to Victims of Cybercrime

The internet is a powerful tool which has changed the world we live in. As with all things, it has its good side and its bad side. Negative consequences arising from widespread internet use include online stalking and bullying, online fraud, and hacking. These activities can be widely classified as ‘cybercrime’. When someone becomes the victim of such crimes, they may suffer negative consequences. These may include feelings of anger, fear, embarrassment and lack of confidence. It is therefore useful to know that there is a service aimed at helping such victims. Victim Support Malta, a registered, non-profit organisation, has been providing support to victims of crime for a number of years. The services offered by Victim Support Malta include emotional support to all types of victims of crime, in order to enable them to talk and overcome their negative feelings. We also give legal advice about for instance, whether a complaint can be filed with the Police, what happens following such a complaint, the length of the legal proceedings and what one should expect; whether one is entitled to sue for compensation; and if there are any forms of protection for the victim.We also provide any other practical help that the individual may require, such as accompanying victims to the Police station or to Court. All our services are free of charge, and we value confidentiality, so we never divulge details about a person who approaches us for assistance. It is important to be aware of the ‘dangers’ of the internet to protect ourselves from any of these situations; however, if something negative does happen to us, it...
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,...
Reporting Online Concerns

Reporting Online Concerns

Things can go wrong online as well as offline. Your son or daughter might be upset by an abusive message on Facebook or they might want to stop subscribing to a premium rate text message service. Maybe they have come across an inappropriate website during a Google search or they’re worried about the way another player is treating them when they’re on their games console. So it’s important to know how you can report any specific concerns you might have to your child’s mobile, social networking or games provider, search engines, websites, the police and other authorities. As with any parental concerns, you’ll have your own way of dealing with them of course. If your son is being bullied by a fellow pupil during an online game, you might decide to speak to his school about it or if you find out that your teenage daughter and her friends have been using sexual language on a social networking site, your first step might be to discuss it with her so you can find out what’s really going on. While it can be difficult to know what to report and what not to report – a young person might not even consider abusive online comments to be bullying (they might just see it as ‘drama’) and digital flirting might just be considered part of growing up, for example – it’s important that you report any serious concerns about things like harassment, child sexual abuse images and grooming to the relevant technology providers and other organisations (including the police, if necessary) so that they can take action. Digital Parenting highlights how you...