A recent article in the Guardian covering a report from the US looking at teen internet use by the National Cyber Security Alliance found that only 13% of teens thought their parents understood the extent of their internet use. It goes on to talk about a “digital disconnect between American teens and parents”.
Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA made an interesting comment flowing its publication; “A lot of the emphasis has been on knowing everything your child does online –tracking their downloads, understanding every new app that comes out,”
However, he went to say “We think that parents should probably move away from trying to understand everything their kid is doing online and [toward] helping their kid negotiate their online lives and make decisions. That means helping children develop resistance and resilience to bad things online, and arming them with problem-solving skills so they’ll know who to turn to if they need help.”
“It’s not about the technology itself. It’s about how you use it,” he said. “A car can drive multiples of the speed limit. You have to teach them to drive well.”
It’s good to see this refocus on what is important from a senior US organisation and one that we feel is the right way, developing the resilience and strategies in young people to deal with issues when they arise, this applies to both the real and online world. Kaiser goes on to say “Rather than attempting to crack down on teen’s internet usage – or trying to figure out every new app that comes along – parents should accept that they cannot know everything”
Let’s share this message and give our parents and carers the confidence to talk to their children about staying safe, after we are all doing the same ‘stuff’ on the world wide web.
To read the full article, follow this link.