At Be in Touch, we believe that open communication is the best long-term solution to the digital dilemmas facing families today. Strict regulation of time and content might work in the short term, but often results in children searching for loopholes or hiding their digital behaviour. This sets up the next problem – when they are exposed to inappropriate or disturbing material, they can’t ask for the support and guidance they need. So – how to combine both approaches into the best combination, designed by your family, that will work for your family?
This checklist will take you through the basics of how to create a Digital Family Alliance with the inputs from your whole family.
Read through the Digital Family Alliance Guidelines first. Download the BiT Digital Family Alliance Guideline
Download the Digital Family Alliance for your family to sign BiT Digital Family Alliance
Download an editable Digital Family Alliance for you to customise for your own family editable Digital Family Alliance
We have no example or benchmark in our current day and age, for how to manage a potentially more dangerous challenge to our children’s health. Even when the signs are as obvious as sunburn or a sugar rush. A child that is aggressive or “flipping out” after gaming, is easy to spot, but some of the consequences of our children’s digital diets may be revealed in subtle mood swings, and gradual behavioural changes including low enthusiasm, minimal interpersonal engagement and depression. These changes may be difficult to gauge when we, as parents, have an unbalanced digital diet ourselves.
We have prepared a quick reference guide on the impacts of digital over-use on various age groups. Use it to gauge where you could tighten your parental control, and to explain to your children why they need to be conscious of their digital use.
Download the Digital Age Guidelines resource
Our team have reviewed the most common Apps that teenagers are likely to view. The top 5 tips for keeping in touch with your kid’s digital lives are as follows;
“If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter” Mark Twain
Navigating the line between respecting your child’s increasing desire for privacy and making sure they are not in need of support is a delicate balancing act. However, as parents, our primary concern must be the prioritisation of our children’s emotional and physical safety. There can be no right to privacy when nothing we do online is private!
Teen speak is constantly evolving, but we’ve drawn up handy reference guides to help you decipher the digital language of acronyms, which we hope will give you more insight into your children’s online lives, and help you decide whether they need support, or just a little space.
As always, respecting your child’s private space is essential, though safety is more important than privacy when it comes to parenting in the digital age, use the downloadable guides on emojis and emoticons to help you if you feel your child needs support.
Download the Teen speak acronym guide
Download the Teen Emoji Guide
Download the Teen Emoticon Guide
Sexual Offences: Pornography and children
In April of this year the South African Law Reform Commission released a discussion paper on pornography in the media and how it impacts children. This paper proposes both logical and important legal revisions which will create a safer space for children as they face mounting digital exposure due to the ease of access to inappropriate material.
Be in Touch in partnership with Dial a Nerd was able to submit commentary on the discussion paper.
Download the Be in Touch / Dial a Nerd commentary (2 pages)
Down load the Law Reform Commissions Discussion Paper (430 pages)