How Can I Keep My Children Safe Using Social Media?

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

 

I’m being interviewed for The Daily Mail podcast today about how to help your teenagers manage social media, specifically in the light of the permanence of what they post and the impact this might have on their futures.

There has been a great deal of debate around the Ollie Robinson posts on Twitter 8 years ago that were sexist and racist and what should be done about punishing him.

Robinson has been suspended by the ECB pending an investigation into historical racist and sexist tweets posted in 2012 and 2013.

The Prime Minister said he was “supportive” of Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden saying the ECB had “gone over the top” and should “think again”.

Asked on BBC Breakfast what he thought of the PM’s involvement, Ramprakash, who played 52 Tests for England between 1991 and 2002, said: “I think it is very unwelcome. He is trying to bear undue influence in this case.

“If I was Ollie Robinson I’m not sure I’d want Boris Johnson involved and trying to support me.”

Ramprakash, who was also England batting coach between 2014 and 2017, added the England dressing room would have been a “pretty toxic place” if Jofra Archer or Moeen Ali had been part of the same team as Robinson at Lord’s.

“I’ve heard people express sort of sympathy with Ollie Robinson, and say ‘hasn’t he shown a lot of character?’, but I haven’t heard enough about the victims or the people that these tweets are aimed at,” said Ramprakash.

 

Discourage gossip, spreading rumours, bullying or damaging someone’s reputation – discuss racism and sexist or homophobic messaging and talk and teach tolerance, diversity and inclusion.

It’s not just a ‘One Off’ Talk -it’s  ‘talk and teach’ moments as your child matures.

It’s also about you modelling the behaviour, language and mindset around tolerance and diversity.

Talk regularly to your teen about what is appropriate and safe and OK to share on social media.

Kids need to learn responsibility for what they post so talk and teach them early.

Sharing information and images via social media is a part of daily life for many children and teens. Social media allows kids to communicate with one another, and to document and share what they are doing in real time. The networking power of social media means that it is not uncommon for kids to be connected with people they have never met in person.

Whether it’s via text message or a smartphone app like Instagram or Snapchat, today’s children and young people are able to share personal information far beyond what you and I could do when we were young.

It’s important for you, as parents, to learn about the different technologies children are using to help keep them safe online.

Social media is always changing, with new apps appearing all the time.

Here’s a helpful article from Caring for Kids:

Social media: What parents should know

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