School TV is a valuable resource to educate parents on practical strategies to help manage modern-day issues and challenges affecting today’s youth, from cybersafety and mental health, to building resistance and exam jitters.
The latest research found that 77% of teenagers spend more than five hours on screens per day, but it is important to note that not all screen time is considered equal.
Parents play a crucial role in modelling a positive and healthy approach to using screens and assisting children to navigate the content they watch. It is better to model and mentor screen use, rather than monitor it. Children tend to do more of what they see us do, and less of what we tell them to do. However, it is still important to outline the risks and highlight the benefits of screen use to ensure you keep a balanced attitude. Encourage discussions around the issues that people experience in monitoring their screen time and be honest about your own difficulties.
Parents need to remain firm in their approach to managing screen time. Excessive screen time can be detrimental to a child’s overall wellbeing. Ensuring the correct privacy settings are in place is vital to prevent children from being inadvertently exposed to inappropriate content or online predators. Parents need to also be mindful of the potential impact screen time can have on a child’s social, emotional, educational, behavioural, and even physical domains.
In this edition of SchoolTV, care-givers will be provided with a range of guidelines and strategies to help manage screen time at home.
Games are an integral part of human behaviour. It is normal and healthy for young people to engage in play as a part of their daily lives, including playing games online. And like most activities, online gaming can have both positive and negative outcomes. It can be intimidating and confusing for carers trying to understand a young person’s online experiences with many considering that staring at a screen is an unhealthy habit. However, the World Health Organisation does believe that as well as the risks, there are also many positive benefits associated with online gaming and these could be key in nurturing bonds with others.
In the media, gaming often gets bad publicity because most coverage tends to concentrate on the minority of gamers who play to such an extent that it compromises all other areas of their life. However, online gaming can teach young people many skills including teamwork, concentration, communication and problem-solving. It requires a level of interaction and skill from the player; unlike watching television, which is more passive.
Online communities provide opportunities for young people to feel socially connected and have a sense of belonging. At healthy levels, gaming can increase their self-esteem and social acceptance. However, any behaviour, when taken to extreme, can also have a negative impact on a young person’s everyday life. Understanding what your young person experiences online and knowing the warning signs if they are at risk, will help nurture a more positive relationship with online gaming and help your family find the right balance.
In today’s world, it is common to hear socially offensive language on the streets, on social media channels, streaming services and in some modern music. While swearing is becoming more common and less taboo, the use of derogatory language or the act of swearing at someone, or about someone, is a form of verbal violence. It transgresses the usual rules of social interaction by impinging on an individual’s self-image and sense of dignity.
It is becoming apparent that some young people are being influenced by the language they hear. Proliferating the use of swear words can sometimes normalise, glamorise and desensitise their impact for kids who may misunderstand the true meaning of some derogatory terms. Whilst some students may use swearing or derogatory terms as a misguided attempt at belonging, others may use it simply because they are still learning how to moderate their language and are not accustomed to making adjustments to suit different situations.
Although many schools enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to swearing and derogatory language, parents need to also play an important part in enforcing this approach. Parents and carers can be proactive in monitoring what their children are viewing or being exposed to. Discussing the use of words or the origin of some derogatory terms and gaining insight into the reason behind their child’s use of such language can help prevent inappropriate or disrespectful language filtering into the classroom or the school yard, which is turn helps to build more tolerant, safe and connected communities.
This Special Report offers a number of guidelines to help manage a suitable approach when discussing the importance of respectful language.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.