Recently, the NZ Herald published an article describing the negative effects of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”. This has raised many concerns about the impact in our community among vulnerable youth.
It is a good reminder of the need to engage our children continually on the dangers surrounding the TV shows and social media that they may be watching.
Some good questions that can be asked over the dinner time are:
a. What do you think about this?
Asking your children about their thoughts on a particular subject is a good way to start the ball rolling. At this point, it will pay not to show strong feelings on the subject and state your stand straight away. Instead, encourage them to voice their opinion.
b. Do we need to believe everything we see on TV or social media?
This is meant as a rhetorical question, but it can also lead to a discussion on peer pressure. Peer pressure amongst teens is cited as one of the major reasons why they resort to certain behaviour in a group.
c. What can you do regarding this?
Every action starts with a plan. And it is no different with combating the effects of the screen or the social media. Encourage your children to come up with some actions that put them in positions of responsibility for themselves. Small concrete steps (eg. talking to a responsible adult on a constant basis, not hanging around with people of undesirable influence) have more effect than just saying “ok, stop going to that Youtube channel”.
The MHJC ICT Parent Cybersafety Agreement encourages parents to take an active role in their child's journey into digital citizenship and I highly recommend that parents cover the student's cybersafety agreement with their children on a regular basis.