Monitoring the media use by kids

2 Jan

Bullying is increasingly a problem in schools and the new venue for bullies has become the Internet. Kristanda Cooper writes in the Florida A & M student paper about Social Media  is New Venue for Cyber Bullying of Children

With the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and even MySpace, bullying has moved from the schoolyard into people’s homes via the Internet.

There are more children enduring harsh harassment from their peers that they are deciding to end their lives to escape the verbal and physical abuse.

In January, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, an Irish native who moved to Northampton, Mass. with her family, ended her life due to pressures of being bullied and harassed at school. For five months, Prince was harassed verbally and via the Internet. According to CBSnews.com, the day Prince ended her life, was the day she was “pelted with a beverage container and cursed at as she walked home from school.” Nine teens are currently facing charges of stalking, criminal harassment and violating Prince’s rights.

Sadly, Prince’s story is not the first.

Stephanie Clifford has an article in the New York Times, Teaching About the Web Includes Troublesome Parts It is important for parents to know how their children are using social media not only for the prevention of the child becoming a victim of bullies, but also to ensure that their child is not the aggressor.

Liz Perle has a good article at Common Sense Media, Six Ways to Be a Media-Savvy Parent in 2012. Perle makes the following suggestions:

Visit an online social networking site. If you have young kids, check out Club Penguin to see how children use this virtual world. Embrace your kids’ enthusiasm, but educate yourself about what goes on. Get a Facebook page, or sign up for Twitter. Ask your kids to show you their pages.

Play a video game with your kid. Even if you’re not a gamer, you can have fun (and gain a lot of insight) by playing along with your kid. Try one of the Guitar Hero gamesor Beatles Rock Band. Play a sports game on the Wii, or pass a football with Madden. The best way to keep kids away from violent games is to enjoy other games together.

Download something your kids will like. Pick a song they’ve never heard. Then ask them to play something for you that you’ve never heard. Have a conversation about the music.

Check out YouTube. YouTube is pretty much mandatory viewing for kids of a certain age, so click around and watch some videos. Visit the comedy section and enjoy some laughs with your kids.

Take control of your TV. There are lots of ways to exert more control over what your kids watch. You can use a digital video recorder, on-demand programming, and websites like Hulu to watch what you want when you want it. This allows you to be choosier about what your kids see. You can preview the shows, fast forward through the ads, use the mute button, and avoid the stuff you don’t want your kids to watch.

Learn how to manage your kids’ digital lives. When you give your kids digital devices — cell phones, computers, and other personal electronics — set rules around responsible, respectful usage. Check in on where your kids are going online — look at browser histories, set appropriate age filters, and check out the parental controls. Teach your kids the basics of safe searching (Google has a safe-search setting), and give them a digital code of conduct. Don’t let them figure it all out by themselves. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/new/six-ways-be-media-savvy-parent-2012?utm_source=newsletter12.29.11&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature1

See also, Caroline Knorr’s Common Sense Media article, Family Guide to Kids’ High-Tech Toys http://www.commonsensemedia.org/advice-for-parents/family-guide-kids-high-tech-toys?utm_source=newsletter12.29.11&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=feature2

Common Sense Media has resources to help parents engage their children about the use of the Internet.

A particularly useful resource found at the Common Sense Media site is Rules of the Road for Kids

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Cyberbullying Discussion Guide
Beyond Facebook: Social Networking Gets Personal

Increasingly, parents must not only teach children appropriate manners in face-to-face contact with others, but there are appropriate rules and manners for how one operates online. Bullying of others is never appropriate under any circumstance and children must be taught this.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

One Response to “Monitoring the media use by kids”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Parents must exercise oversight of media use by children « drwilda - July 7, 2012

    […] Stephanie Clifford has an article in the New York Times, Teaching About the Web Includes Troublesome Parts It is important for parents to know how their children are using social media not only for the prevention of the child becoming a victim of bullies, but also to ensure that their child is not the aggressor. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/monitoring-the-media-use-by-kids/ […]

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