The conversations you need to have with your kids

“We expect our elementary-aged children to follow family rules, but teenagers are becoming more and more responsible for their own behavior,” she said. “It means having good conversations to help them become empowered about their use of technology.”

Brewer said humans behave differently in groups, and technology facilitates less inhibited communication, due to lack of eye contact, feelings of anonymity and detachment from reality.

She said the question of what technological boundaries should be in place depends on the ability of the young person – such as their impulsiveness and self-esteem – but parents also need to be able to hold difficult conversations, model effective communication and to demonstrate their own healthy use of technology. habits.

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Brewer suggested that parents could use an approach similar to a driver’s license system, where there is a clear progression from rear-seat driver to learners to provisional red, then provisional green to full licence, and ways to remove the privileges if the rules are not followed.

When parents discover that their children are involved in this behavior, the two experts said it is better to be transparent and open with the school, which would have established procedures.

Brewer added that the eSafety office has toolkits on best practices for how to respond, when sometimes the child, whether victim or abuser, may need a psychologist to help them cope. to fallout.

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