As an eSmart school, we feel it is vital parents are aware of what their children are doing online.
It has come to our attention that many children in the school are aware of the Momo Challenge, which includes children receiving terrifying messages and images, ranging from threats and dares to encouraging self-harm and even suicide.
How do I protect my children online?
According to National Online Safety in the UK, there are several ways you can help protect your child when they are using apps or devices.
1 Tell them it’s not real
Much like any other monster or fictitious character, it’s important that your child understands that Momo is not a real person and cannot control them, tell them what to do or harm them. Also, tell your child not to go openly searching for this content online as it is only going to upset them and cause them distress.
2 Be present
While it’s not always possible to be with your child 24/7, it’s important that you are close to them when they are watching videos or playing with devices so you can monitor what is going on. Also, talk with your child about how they use devices and watch for any signs of behavioural changes.
3 Talk regularly with your child
Have frequent open and honest conversations with your child about screen time and let them know that they can talk with you about anything and everything. Encourage your child to feel confident about having discussions with you about issues and concerns they have related to the online world.
4 Set parental controls on all devices
Set up parental controls for your devices at home to help restrict the types of content that your child can view, as well as help you monitor their activity. On YouTube, turn off the ‘suggested auto-play’ on videos to stop your child from viewing content they may not have selected.
5 Talk to your child about peer pressure
Trends and challenges can be tempting for kids to take part in regardless of how scary they seem and especially if ‘everyone else is doing it.’ Talk to your child about how they don’t need to bow to peer pressure or do anything they are not comfortable with, either online or offline. If they are unsure, encourage them to talk to you or another trusted adult.
6 Do your research
As a parent it’s natural to feel worried for your children’s safety, in the online or offline world. However remember not everything you see online is true. Check the validity of the source and be mindful of what you share as it may cause unfounded worries.
7 Report and block
Flag and report any material you deem to be inappropriate or harmful as soon as you come across it. You should also block the account/content to prevent your child from seeing it.
8 Get support if necessary
Speak with educators at your child’s school if you have concerns regarding their online activity. If your child sees something distressing it is important they know who to turn to for support and guidance. They can also contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.
Included below are some articles providing further details.
If you have a child who enjoys going online, then you have most likely heard of the game Fortnite. This is a game rated M and is recommended for children 12 years or older, but no proof of age is required. As a school we would like to provide some of the following links to help parents understand what their children are playing, to consider if this is something they are comfortable with.
At Cranbourne Carlisle we follow the eSmart philosophy and therefore believe the interactions children have on the internet are extremely important and that adults should be aware that cyberbullying can have a damaging impact on a child, their friends and their family. For more information please head to www.esmart.org.au/
This week is National eSmart Week, where we are promoting the smart, safe and responsible use of the internet. As part of our whole school celebration we have eSmart wrist bands for sale and will be having a sausage sizzle on Friday. Any profits made will contribute towards purchasing cyber safety apps and programs such as the Digital Licence from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
eSmart wrist bandsWrist bands will be on sale all week for $1.50 and will be available in S, M and L size. Children are especially encouraged to wear their wrist bands on Friday for ‘Purple and Yellow day’. Wrist bands will be purchased in the classroom where senior children will visit each morning to sell them. They can be worn all week but we want everyone wearing them on Purple and Yellow day on Friday.
Sausage SizzleOn Friday 8 September we will be having a sausage sizzle for children. Sausages will be $1.50 each and made available during lunch time. Beef and vegetarian sausages will be available. NOTE: There will not be pre-orders, so children are encouraged to bring a good sized snack also. Classes will be able to come out anytime from 12:30pm.
At Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School we are committed to the smart, safe and responsible use of technology. We would like to offer parents and families with a series of videos and links to help educate our community on the positives and negatives of the online world.
Here is a short video on the issue of cyberbullying and the four short tips to help your children. If you have a child in Years 4-6 you may wish to view this video together and discuss the four tips together.
Today we introduce a new section to our website, KidKorner
KidKorner is run by our Child eSmart Team (Year 4 – Tara, Year 5 – Sanchit, Year 6 – Jude). They will be blogging about their school experiences and modelling smart, safe and responsible use of the internet. The page can always be found in Enrichment > Multimedia > KidKorner.