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Parents, beware of Internet dangers

Internet Safety poster

Parents, what do you know about online porn, WiFi, spyware, firewalls, social networking sites and profanity filters? Do the terms “Net Nanny” and “cyber-bullying” mean anything to you? And the big question: does your child really need a smartphone or tablet?

These issues will be addressed during an Internet Safety Programme (ISP) at Arima Girls’ RC School, beginning Saturday, February 28 and continuing each Saturday until April 4. Start time is 10 a.m. The target audience is parents, guardians, teachers and other care-givers.
The programme is being organised by The Cotton Tree Foundation (CTF) in partnership with the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission (AFLC), with support from The Massy Foundation. It was developed by CTF to provide parents with guidance on how to assist their children in obtaining the most from their access to information technology (IT) and the internet and, in particular, how to safeguard children from the negative aspects of computer and internet use.
“Children and teens are increasingly more ‘tech savvy’ than their parents and may access content which is not appropriate for their age-group,” CTF general manager Avril Alexander explained, “thus the ISP will give parents the knowledge and tools for protecting their children from possible dangers.” She added, “Through the ISP, parents will learn more about computers, smartphones, tablets and the internet but, more importantly, they will be provided with key information on how these impact upon the psychological, social and physical well-being of their children.” Well-known psychologist Dr Karen Moore and IT specialist Ken Rodrigues will be the facilitators. Parents will be taught how to talk to their children about their bodies, sexual trauma and risky behaviour, and will also learn about some technical aspects of the internet.

According to the course outline, parents will also receive instructions on how to improve their supervisory skills, build healthier parent-child relationships and set appropriate boundaries. There will be a session on cyber-bullying, which is defined as “a young person tormenting, threatening, harassing, or embarrassing another young person using the internet or other technologies, like cellphones.” According to nobullying.com, one in four US teens has experienced it more than once, while only one in ten victims inform a parent or trusted adult of the abuse.

There will also be a session on the right tools to improve parental control of internet use at home.
To register and for more information, contact the AFLC at 672-4280, visit their Facebook page, or e-mail familylife.commission@gmail.com

Taken from Catholic News Feb 22

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