Category: Parenting

Tips for Establishing Internet Safety While Co-Parenting

Co-Parenting Internet Safety

This world can be tough on kids, especially those with divorced parents or guardians that live apart. If that wasn’t enough, some children also have to deal with a new world full of technology and tech-related challenges. To help with this concern, we would like to provide some tips for establishing internet safety while co-parenting.

While the online space does provide plenty of perks (educational software, easy communication with loved ones), it also creates a fair share of concerns. There is a lot of adult content online that your kids shouldn’t see, and there is also the risk of cyberbullying. As co-parents, you both need to be on the same page, so your child is protected regardless of the roof they are under. Here are some guidelines to do just that.

Enact The Same Rules

When your child announces that they want to start using the internet, both parents have to sit down and go over the ground rules. Having the same rules in both homes is absolutely essential, so both parents are always aware of what their child is doing when cruising the internet in their house. Start by having a conversation with your kids about how social media works, how strangers can see personal information they share, and what information they should not put on their profile pages.

Both guardians also have to come to a consensus about where the computer or device can and cannot be used. For the youngest kids, it is a good idea to put it in a highly-populated space like the kitchen or living room when the parent is nearby. Younger kids should not be able to go online when their parents are not around. You also need to set limits for how often the kids can be online. A good place to start is by restricting usage to an hour of online time per day once their homework and chores are completed.

One way to ensure that your kids follow the rules set forth by both parents is by having them complete a child/parent internet safety agreement. Yours can mimic the example in the link as it should have similar guidelines, including what information they can and cannot share on social media platforms. It should also require that they inform their parents if they see anything strange or scary online. Put this signed form next to the computer, so it is a constant reminder.

Be Proactive In Their Security

It is essential that both co-parents are on the same page when it comes to putting the proper protections in place on your computers and devices so the kids can stay out of harm’s way. The future of privacy will see many advancements, but also several issues as cybercriminals find new ways to take advantage of evolving technology. For example, new phones are always adding on cameras, GPS functions, and other perks that, while helpful, can also allow hackers to track your location and steal your data, which is not so great. As parents, you can only focus on what you can control, so work together and try these tips.

The best approach to protecting your kid from online dangers is by enabling internet safety tools on the devices your kids are using. Control settings are available on every web browser, including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. These add-ons allow you to block certain websites, control how long the internet can be used, and restrict sites that are known for creating virus and malware problems.

Parental controls should also be set on mobile devices. Android devices and iPhones both have settings and available apps that control how much your child can see when they go online. Once you have the software enabled, you can also go back and see what websites your kids have been visiting and modify their access as needed.

In addition to parental controls, both parents should check any devices their children use and ensure that they are equipped with antivirus software. If your child accidentally goes to a website where malware is present, hackers might be able to use it to access your device and steal data, passwords, or the contact information of your friends and family. To prevent this threat, install this software ASAP and run scans weekly to wipe out any viruses that might be present.

Dangers of Cyberbullying

We are in a new day in age where cyberbullying is becoming more common than ever before, especially for children. In fact, recent numbers show that 36% of kids have been cyberbullied at some point in their youth. Cyberbullying can take many different forms, from name-calling and harassment to cyberstalking across multiple platforms and devices. Sometimes it can be difficult to know when your child is being bullied, but there are some signs that something may be wrong, such as trouble sleeping, becoming more quiet and withdrawn, or having sudden violent outbreaks.

If one parent notices any of these signs, they should immediately speak to the other so you can come together to comfort your child and put a stop to the harassment. Inaction is not an option. Find out what sites or social media platforms they were bullied on and take pictures for evidence if you feel it is important to do so. Never reply to the messages. Just block the sender and alert the authorities if necessary.

Of course, the best defense is to be proactive as cyberbullying can affect a child’s psyche. Tell your children that they should never share personal information online and if anyone ever asks for private information that they should report it to one of their parents immediately. Most important is building a level of trust with your children so they feel comfortable letting you know when they are put in uncomfortable situations, either online or at school. By nipping potential issues in the bud right away, you can prevent them from escalating.

While you may not be a traditional family, you are still two parents that love their children very much. Put that love into action by being a constant presence in your child’s online life.

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Creating Effective Communication Between Parents And Teachers

Effective Parent Teacher Communication

In educational institutes, a parents-teachers meeting (PTM) is essential to inform the parents about their child’s growth in school. Often, the arrangement does not take place with effective measures leaving miscommunication, partial communication, or no communication.

As well, in the current scenario, both parents are mostly working; hence, they do not make it up for the PTM sometimes.

If you are looking for tips and tricks for improving the parent-teacher school meeting, you have landed at the right spot. Here, we are listing the top tips that will enhance the overall PTM experience.

#1. Use school management system

While you want to strengthen parent-teacher communication in the meetings, you should use a school management system. The system offers a quick and easy communication facility where teachers can send direct notifications or updates to the parents. Apart from this, they can make students’ results and progress reports available online, so parents can view the details without visiting the school.

In fact, the use of such software is being increased day by day. The educational system insists on delivering a high-quality experience to the students and parents, which can be fulfilled by online learning effectively and efficiently.

#2. Offer personalized meeting experience

Each student is unique, so the teacher needs to inform all parents of different details. In this instance, it would be a great idea to deliver a personalized experience for all guardians. This will enable in maintaining the privacy of students’ improvement and allow parents to converse openly. Besides, personalized meeting conversations will enhance the school’s reputation and image among all the parents.

#3. Design shorter, frequent communication

Do not opt for one long communication or wait until the end of the term to reach out with an extended recap to communicate with parents. This will not only create complications in the communication but also create flaws in informing the details.

Just as schools have shifted to more frequent evaluations of students, school communications should also be short and frequent to keep parents in the loop on a continuous basis. A school management app is the best way for this type of communication, where parents and teachers can stay connected frequently.

#4. Allow flexible meeting schedule

This is one of the highly demanded options by the parents. As both parents are working (in most instances), they might not be able to make up at the designated time for the PTM. If your institute’s goal is to strengthen parent-teacher communication, flexibility in the meeting schedule should be there.

Furthermore, in today’s digital world, parent teacher communication can also take place online via school management software. The accessibility of communication with teachers from anywhere, working parents admire this type of facility from a school.

#5. Keep students’ report ready beforehand

 If a teacher has prepared the students’ reports beforehand, it will be a lot easier to communicate the details effectively. With the complete record and progress report on hand, teachers only need to focus on emphasizing having an effective conversation. Moreover, they can present students’ work quickly so that parents can get an overview of their child’s progress at the school.

#6. Provide actionable information

Providing information to keep parents up-to-date is recommended, but schools also need to make sure they share information that parents can act on. This can include opportunities for parents to encourage or prepare their child for classroom assignments or learn about forthcoming extracurricular activities and special events.

Apart from the above mentioned tips, here are some other consideration that helps in improving parent teacher communication;

  • Encourage teachers to be proactive about communication with parents. If parents are not participating actively, send them reminders and ask them to join a meeting.
  • Build a report with the parents and inform them about their child’s overall behavior or progress at school. If required, teachers should connect with specialists for the betterment of students.
  • Arrange for the translator if there is a requirement for making the communication a flawless process.
  • Assess family dynamics for students who have parents no longer living together and ensure proper communication for both households.
  • Make sure a teacher is using appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Do not forget to mention the positives about each student to their parents.
  • Take advantage of technology where possible and needed.

Effective communication between parents and teachers is crucial for the betterment of students. As teacher and parent relationships play a vital role in the development of a student, both of them need to communicate frequently and on a continuous basis. Once parents are aware of their child’s progress at school, they can take certain measures to notice visible improvements in the student’s progress.

In a nutshell, when you are trying to make parent-teacher communication an effective process, there are certain elements that play their role. For instance, if you opt for a tech-savvy approach, it will be a lot easier to share information with parents. Also, it will advance the manual tasks and create a positive impression. If a teacher keeps the above mentioned points in mind while conversing with parents, the PTM can be as effective as expected.

About the author:
Shobhit Srivastava is an avid writer. He holds spectacular skills in school automation, loyalty programs, marketing, and customer retention. Connect with him on Twitter!

Is Online Therapy for Teens a Viable Solution?

Online Therapy for Teens

The need for mental and behavioral health services among adolescents is high.  If left untreated, even the symptoms of behavioral or mental disorders that drop over time are more likely to return. In the light of these statistics, it is imperative to pay attention to your teen’s mental health and seek the relevant therapeutic solutions whenever necessary.

Studies suggest that the 12-month prevalence of mental disorders among patients aged 13 to 17 is 40.3 percent. Furthermore, teenagers experience high rates of recurrence. Online therapies are a widely-studied and efficacious treatment for various behavioral and mental health conditions among adolescents. But are they a viable solution?

What’s online therapy?

Also known as e-therapy, telepsychology, or internet counseling, online therapy allows patients to meet with a professional therapist in a virtual or online setting as opposed to face-to-face meetings in a psychologist’s office. The therapist may communicate through a mobile app, specific website, text message, or email. Online therapy for teens can also be done through a video chat.

There are many online therapy programs, but all share similar features. These programs are offered along with human coaching. This makes the therapy sessions more efficacious than self-guided programs.

Several studies have found that adolescents are more receptive to working with a therapist using computer-based therapy. A 2016 study of adolescents in Australia shows that 72 percent of teenagers said that they would enroll for online therapy if they were battling a mental health issue. 32 percent of the study participants revealed that they would prefer online therapy over face-to-face meetings.

In another study done in 2015, adolescent participants said that they would prefer e-therapy for discussing sexuality and other sensitive issues.

Benefits of e-therapy

There are many reasons you may want to consider e-therapy for your teenager as opposed to traditional therapy. The potential benefits of online therapy include;

Confidentiality

Patients often wonder about patient-therapist data protection in a traditional therapy setting. E-therapy follows the regulations of the Federal Council of Psychology. In other words, your data and conversations between you and the therapist will be secure through encryption. No one will need to know that you’re undergoing therapy. With online therapy care, the patient can carry out the sessions from a location of your choosing.

Time saver

People who have already undergone face-to-face psychological counseling may have noticed that it takes time to travel to and from a therapist’s office. The client should be at the office before the session starts, and for that, the patient will be spending time in traffic.

With e-therapy, you no longer need to travel long distances. All you need to do is to schedule a therapy session at the best time for you and your therapist. During the session, each of you needs to connect to the internet, and that’s all.

Comfort

For therapy to flow seamlessly, a patient should feel at ease, and for that, there is nothing more comfortable than your favorite spot. Whether you are on a trip or office, you can easily attend your therapy sessions more productively.

Affordability

Most therapists charge less for online therapy sessions because e-therapy sessions have few overhead costs. The therapist may not need to pay staff members, rent office space, and other expenses.  Still, for families who don’t have insurance alternative therapy options for the uninsured, in addition to online therapy, are worth exploring.

Potential limitations of only therapy

There are some drawbacks a parent should consider before enrolling an adolescent in online therapy. Some of these disadvantages include;

Technology-related challenges: If your internet connection goes down, the chances are that you won’t connect with the therapist. Cybersecurity threats could also be an issue.

Medical insurance may not cover e-therapy services: Though your insurer may cover the cost of in-person treatment services, you may lack coverage for telehealth.

Boundaries might get blurred: Sending text messages or chatting online may cause your teenager to think of the therapist as more of a friend than a professional. Such confusion could mean that the treatment will not be effective.

Online Burnout:  If you child is already taking classes online, as well as spending a lot of time online for entertainment, be aware of potential online burnout to determine if online therapy is the best solution.

Therapy Alternatives for the the Uninsured

How much is therapy without insurance

The comparison between an average cost with insurance per session and an average cost without insurance per session

5 alternatives people can take advantage of

Summary

If you’re planning to enroll your teen in online therapy, first, talk to the child’s doctor. He or she should rule out the underlying health problems that might be causing the mental health issues. The doctor can also advise you about whether online therapy will be an effective solution.

Nervous Before an Exam? Here’s How to Feel More Confident

Fun Ways to Limit Kids’ Screen Time

Screen time may be an easy way to keep your child occupied, but too much of it can be detrimental to their physical and mental well being. To effectively limit your child’s screen time, you don’t have to go cold turkey. Instead, find fun activities to keep them busy. It’s all about setting good habits for life, balancing fun between online and offline play.

Statistics show that young kids and teenagers spend an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes a day on their phones. These numbers are worrying, and something needs to be done. Here are a few suggestions to try out.

Create technology-free zones in your home

Select a few rooms in your house where electronics such as mobile phones, laptops, and handheld video games aren’t allowed. This can be the dining area, the kitchen, and bedrooms. Reserve these rooms for family conversations and resting. Ensure that you also participate in this to set a good example for your children.

Get them outside

Kids aren’t going out as much as they used to, but a few minutes outside the house will do them a lot of good. Physical exercise increases cognitive function and promotes better sleep, so allow them to run around, ride their bikes, take walks, etc. A simple drive around the neighborhood is also a great way to get them out of the house for some fresh air.

Play with them

Kids don’t like to feel neglected. Therefore, if you limit their screen time, ensure that you find other ways to keep them occupied. Buy age-appropriate puzzles and board games, and let them play amongst themselves. Toys such as building blocks and dress-up props are also great for young kids. This will keep them busy and entertained for hours on end.

Get crafty

Set up a creation station in your house and let your kids spend an afternoon painting or creating something. Since we can’t see friends and family members right now, challenge them to create cards to send to their friends. After they are done, set up a family gallery and display their pieces. You can even frame their work and hang it in their rooms. For the older kids, take up a bigger project such as painting, woodworking and redecorating their rooms and do it together.

Motivate them to help around the house

Chores aren’t fun, but they can be depending on how you position them. Children are naturally curious, so take advantage of their “me too” attitude and allow them to help you around the house. When cooking or cleaning, let them participate in the hustle and bustle. Teenagers are not that easy to convince, so create a reward system to encourage them.

Buy them books

Reading can be fun for kids too. Get them age-appropriate storybooks and novels and dedicate a few hours a day where everyone sits down to read. You can also try storytelling with the younger kids. Stories of adventure and fantasy help boost creativity and imagination in children.

With 53% of UK parents concerned about excessive screen time, you’re not alone. These are only a few suggestions, and there are many more out there you can try, but hopefully this will give you a good place to start.

Detecting Eye Problems In Children at an Early Age

Safer Search

What does it take to provide a safer web experience for kids? It takes a combination of tools and resources working together in unison: internet filtering, secure browsing, apps for parental controls, and education. That is our mission at Safe Search Kids as we work to deliver these four cornerstones of online safety to parents, teachers, and students.

Search public records to find people, connect with long lost friends, family, or conduct background checks to learn about strangers or acquaintances that have contact with your children on the people search engine.