Teenagers and Digital Etiquette

Here are some good tips from Zeeko to help your children and teenagers – and indeed all of us – have good habits online.

Kids, in particular teens, can get very wrapped up in what they are doing when they spend time online. Our blog this week offers tips on helping kids to learn about digital etiquette.

Teach the “Grandma Rule”: As communication via social media becomes ingrained in our culture, children need to know social networking etiquette. A good rule is to only share or leave comments that you would feel comfortable with granny seeing or reading. If you hesitate or question how grandma would react, then you probably should not be posting. This concept helps kids define what behaviours are acceptable. Also, remind children that nothing is really private online, everything has the possibility of being shared.

Be in the know: Communication is key, because it is estimated that 70 percent of our teens actually take measures to hide their online activity from adults. These behaviours range anywhere from dimming screens, closing windows, or creating dummy social media accounts. It is important that we stay informed about trends, new social media hangouts, and what sites our kids frequent. Ask a child to friend you online and check their activity frequently.

Let them know it’s okay to “say no” to sexting: Sexting involves much more than sending a racy selfie to someone. Teens who sext can be emotionally hurt, bullied, and targeted by sexual predators. Even with the lurking threats, sexting is now frequently perceived as a safe alternative to sex and a normal part of adolescent development. Children need to know that they can decline a sext request. If a person truly cares about them, they will respect the decision to say no.

Take every opportunity possible to remind teenagers that what they see when they are using social media is only a snippet of people’s lives and may not always be a true reflection of reality.

Having an open communication style with your teenager will be a great help when it comes to conversations about social media. If your child knows that they can talk openly to you about what they are encountering when they are using social media, they will be more likely to regularly share their experiences.

Remind your teenager to exercise the same level of caution when they are using social media as they would when they are offline. If they wouldn’t share personal information with a stranger in the ‘real world’, then why would they share this information when they are online?

For older teens, encourage them to activate the safety settings on any digital devices that they are using, be that a smartphone, iPad or Tablet. Regularly reviewing these settings with your teenager is a good idea.

The important thing about safely navigating social media for all of us is knowing how to make smart choices with what you share and who you share it with!

For more tips on internet safety check out:

https://zeeko.ie/teenagers-and-digital-etiquette-zeeko-tips/

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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