Documentary warns of online dangers
AN always connected lifestyle and its effects on young people is prompting conversations between parents and children as the Screenagers documentary shows at two fully booked events in Bunbury this week.
Creating the documentary after personal experience of her children’s overuse of devices, Delany Ruston said brain scans of children spending extended time online and those addicted to drugs or alcohol was similar.
Bunbury Primary School Parents and Citizens Association have partnered with community support groups like Headspace Bunbury and Parenting Connection Western Australia to bring the film to the South West for two free screenings followed by an information session.
Bunbury Primary School principal Shane Doherty said the film and workshop opened eyes and provided insight into online activity and its consequences.
“The capacity for people to track children through photos they post from their phones, the peer pressure to post inappropriate image or to write inappropriate comments, the inability to take these things back and the potential future impact on our children are real,” Mr Doherty said.
Parenting Connection Partnership Coordinator Sue Riccelli said parents of adolescents had many challenges in today’s cyber world by trying to manage their teenagers’s online behaviour as well as setting boundaries around social media and technology.
“We are thrilled so many agencies have come together in a collaborative approach for parents and children to learn more about some of the issues created by the cyber world which will hopefully enable parents to feel more empowered in this aspect of their parenting,” Ms Riccelli said.
Hoping to initiate discussion between parents and children about the risks posed by social media and its negative effects, guest speaker, psychologist and director of ySafe Jordan Foster said screen time affected health, sleep, quality of life and attitudes of young people.
“Strategies and limits need to be discussed together in terms of how much time is spent online as a family,” Ms Foster said.
“In some cases, even parents are spending too much time glued to screens.
“It is about families finding a healthy balance.”
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