Social Media Concerns - Be Prepared and Armed with Tools
With the current concerns about an online video being circulated that children and teens may see, it is important for parents to be armed with tools and to share these tools with their children. This will reduce the chances that the young person will watch the video through and if they do, increase the chances they will reach out for support.
It is recommended that parents try to keep their children offline over the next few days, minimise their internet use, and/or to supervise more closely. This is with the understanding that internet use can be hard to monitor at times, particularly for those families working from home and with computer / internet use being important for remote learning. Children should also be discouraged from having a TikTok account.
I would encourage you today to have a general chat with your kids about internet use. Say that they might see videos or pictures on the internet that make them feel uncomfortable, “yucky in the tummy” or scared. Tell them to switch off the movie or put the device down and come and tell you or another adult. Emphasise that they won’t be in trouble, that you want them to be safe and to feel good in themselves. Say you’re not going to ban their device or the internet - that sometimes they may see things online by accident or be curious about. If they think that you’re going to ban them or they will be in trouble, they’ll be less likely to come to you. Try and avoid asking if they’ve seen a specific video, it is likely to increase their interest and perhaps to search it up.
Teachers may even raise it carefully in their Google Meets or online classes. It would be beneficial for schools to distribute practical information and suggestions to families.
Pre-empt problems and teach skills.
Kids Helpline Official - 1800 55 1800
ReachOut.com Australia - is a website that provides resources to young people about day-to-day issues and also during tough times.
@YouthBeyondBlue - 1300 22 4636
Office of the eSafety Commissioner