Bridging Home & School - updated 5/20/18
STUDENTS SAFETY ON TECHNOLOGY
Are your children safe while online? Michigan families, especially minors, are becoming inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography, illegal drug and gambling marketers through different internet and cell phone inboxes. Texting their advertisements is the newest marketing effort that many of these companies are using. Thankfully, the Michigan Secretary of State’s office offers a free program to stop adult advertisements from reaching e-mails, mobile phones (text messaging ads) and instant messenger IDs. The Michigan Child Protection Registry, like the federal Do Not Call List, is a free do-not-contact service for Michigan’s families. To sign up only takes seconds. Just go to www.ProtectMIChild.com and keep your family safe.
NAVIGATING PARENTING IN TODAY'S WORLD
Navigating parenting in today’s world can feel like an impossible task some days. Between ensuring that your child is staying on top of things at school, to activities outside of school and spending quality time together at home, it can feel like there is little time for anything else, let alone time to grow yourself as a parent.
Earlier this year, we held a community Book Club on the first part of UNSELFIE. One item of feedback from our parents was the need for more information and resources. In an effort to share, but not overwhelm, listed below are a few resources I have gathered for all of my parents:
- The Center for Parenting Education (it’s difficult to be a parent today): https://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/focus-parents/hard-parent-today-big-picture-parental-responsibility/
- Parenting Magazine (tips for social media use): https://www.parenting.com/gallery/social-media-monitoring-kids?page=0
- Common Sense Media (allows you to read reviews of books/media/social media): https://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/our-mission#about-us
- Parenting Science (fostering empathy): https://www.parentingscience.com/teaching-empathy-tips.html
- Love & Logic (parent article resource, scroll down to the bottom right corner to join the insider’s club and receive the newsletter): https://www.loveandlogic.com/articles-advice/parents
In addition to the items shared above, I want to highlight one social media site that many of our kids are using which has recently been in the news, Musical.ly. Although this app appears to be one where kids can lip sync to popular music and share their videos with their friends, as the site has grown more popular, it has become increasingly apparent that there are dangers involved as well.
Several articles have uncovered some very negative aspects of this app, including that even with a private account, a profile, user name, and personal bio is visible to all app users. This has also propelled cyber-bullying and inappropriate content available to all users. Unfortunately, making your child’s account private allows for some level of anonymity, but does not prevent them from looking at potentially inappropriate content when they are on the app.
I would like to share a tip that I received in reference to kids and social. Follow the age restrictions and then some. Open an account for yourself and use the app for a period of time before allowing your child to have an account. Look at what the app suggests as the right age for a child to access the app and then determine if you think your child is old enough to handle the content that you experienced. Our kids are very tech savvy these days, as are online predators, and when we give our children a device to use, we essentially hand them access to the world with limited filters.
I hear often from parents how difficult it is to find balance between knowing what is “ok” for our kids and where we should draw the line. What kinds of activities and how many should we have our child doing outside of school? How much screen time is too much/too little? Which books are the “right books” for my child to be reading? How do I know which social media sites are ok for my child to use? These are great questions and hopefully the resources above help with some of the answers.
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Thank you for taking the time to review the resources. We must all be diligent in doing what is right for all children.