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Be Involved: Relationships in a Digital Age

This tip page is a synopsis of the “Be Involved” section of the Parent Tool Kit and was created by the PIC Planning Team for School Councils and PIC school reps to share with their parent community. This section of the tool kit is a great resource for parents on how to be involved and provide guidance to children in the online digital world.

'Social media' refers to the wide range of Internet based and mobile services that allow users to participate in online exchanges, contribute user created content, or join online communities. 

Tip # 1 - Share Digital Skills and Online Tools

  • Teach netiquette (i.e. parental guidance on online behaviour such as digital citizenship)

  • Ensure device free family time for face to face communication such as supper time

Tip # 2 - Know the Basics of Social Media Safety

  • Find a balance between respecting a child's privacy while keeping them safe

  • Talk to your child about why it's important as a parent to know their passwords or see profiles and posts of their friends

  • Know the rules of your child's school regarding internet and social media use and help support their enforcement

  • If you feel your child is not yet ready to participate safely online, be prepared to say no

  • Encourage your child to talk to you if they come across disturbing material on social media, "I don't want my parents spying on me, but at the same time, it's good to know they're there." - Student

Tip # 3 - Help Your Children Deal with Online Relationships

  • Encourage mindfulness of online interactions on social media. (e.g. Would you say that to someone in person?)

  • Advise your children never to post in anger, and to always review messages prior to posting

  • Help them understand differences between friends and acquaintances

  • Emphasize that people they meet online may not always be who they claim to be

Tip # 4 - Assist Your Children to Manage Their Online Identities

  • Learn about the use of privacy settings on social networking sites your children are using

  • Discuss risks involved and the impact of a digital footprint (e.g. Posted content can be accessed by future employers)

  • Caution children not to post identifying information such as phone number, address or where they go to school

  • Advise them to share passwords only with you

Tip # 5 - Reach Out For Help If Your Child Is Impacted By CyberBullying Or Sexting

  • Electronic bullying or cyberbullying is electronic communication that is used to upset, threaten, or embarrass another person. It can be done via email, cell phones, text messages, and social media sites

  • Encourage your children to let you know about incidents of cyber-bullying right away

  • Contact your child's school and work together with staff to bring about the best resolution

  • Teens need to know that sexting and cyberbullying are serious activities that could lead to criminal charges

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