Are you a parent? Are you interested in your child’s online life?
Áine Byrne, of County Kildare LEADER Partnership is delighted to let you know about a new resource which may be of help. It is a support and guidance resource for parents in the form of short videos. The videos will be hosted on YouTube and shared on Facebook, and address topics of interest to parents with a view to assisting them help their children navigate the online world safely.
County Kildare LEADER Partnership is delighted to have collaborated on this resource with Foroige Drug Prevention & Education Initiative, Tusla, and Kildare Children and Young People’s Services Committee (Kildare CYPSC).
The videos were developed with a group of parents from St. Farnan’s Post Primary School, Prosperous and were filmed in December 2019. They were due to launch in March 2020, but will now be available from Monday 25th May, on the Kildare/West Wicklow Parenting Forum Facebook page: www.facebook.com/parentingsupport/ .
Each of the five videos contains a key message for parents in order to help them establish good patterns around their child’s online life. What is really great about the messages is that they were generated by the parents involved, based on their lived experiences of being parents and navigating the issue of online safety in their own families. In addition, the messages are endorsed by Cybersafe Ireland, who provide training and advice across Ireland regarding online safety.
One of the parents involved in the project is Denise Hayes. When reflecting on the video campaign and the message which resonated most with her, she spoke of the importance of starting and maintaining open communication with your children regarding their online life. Indeed, it is that message; “Start the conversation” which opens the campaign encouraging parents to start talking with their children about online safety, early in the child’s online life.
Other messages include encouraging parents to set limits for children’s online time. The video provides links to useful resources to help parents apply and adhere to those limits. The issue of time online also broaches parental online time, and the importance of parents setting a positive example for their children regarding how they conduct their own online lives.
Laura Ryan, another of the participating parents, said the message which rang loud for her is the importance of parents supporting other parents as “every parent has got some worry about their child or children and talking to other parents is a great support.”
The final message is for parents is to, be informed. It is really important for parents to keep themselves informed about the online world, and the video addressing that theme provides some tips for helping parents stay up to date.
The Home School Community Liaison Officer in St. Farnan’s, Andrew Little, was involved in supporting the project and he feels that the videos “are a really good method of communicating with parents. It is great for parents in Kildare to receive messages from other parents with whom they can relate. It makes the information seem more relevant.”
The changes to our world since Covid19 have highlighted the potential benefits of technology, the internet and online connectivity. The videos purpose is to raise awareness among parents about the importance of staying involved in the online life of their child/children to ensure that they experience cyberspace safely.
This campaign reminds parents, that there is no quick fix in supporting their child’s online life, but small interventions can have positive lasting results.
The videos are due to launch on Monday 25th May, at 9:30am, on the Kildare/West Wicklow Parenting forum Facebook page: www.facebook.com/parentingsupport/ with one video per day until Friday 29th May.