What can parents do to keep children safe

  • Keep lines of communication open.
  • Gradual release of responsibility
  • Have clear rules & expectations around devices
  • Show positive interest in your child’s world
  • Educate your children about the risks (Age appropriate)
  • Install parental controls on your children’s devices
  • Set a good example

Useful links:

Information about technology addiction:


The Dangers of social media, a social experiment:


Backlash Articles (Articles showng that many young people are turning away from social media to avoid dependence:



Effect of violent video games on males’ empathy for females:


How to talk to your child about porn: http://www.pornharmskids.org.au/


Parenting links:

This website provides 20 excellent tips on how to protect your child online:


We highly recommend using this website to check out the appropriateness of media content before your child views / listens to it:


Parenting adolescents insights: Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human



  • Setting the scene: Screenagers
  • Discussion: What are some of the problems you face and what solutions do you already have?
  • Exploration of some of the big issues
  • What can parents do? Strategies for parents
  • Understanding our children’s needs
  • Resources

Missing the point

“As far as material necessities are concerned, the human civilization at the present moment is very much advanced in living comfortably, but we are still not happy, because we are missing the point.”

-Srila Prabhupada, preface, The Nectar of Devotion.

Source of tension in families

  • In a survey of 8- to 13-year-olds and their parents, 54 % of children felt that their parents checked their devices too often
  • 32 % of children felt unimportant when their parents were distracted by their phones (AVG Technologies, 2015).
  • Another study with parents of 8- to 17-year-olds found that about one-third of all participating parents struggled with limiting their children’s use of media and technology (Rich, Bickham, & Shrier, 2015).
  • Observational studys found that parents who were highly absorbed in their devices tended to be more harsh when dealing with children’s misbehavior (Radesky, et al., 2014).

The social media backlash

In a recent UK survey of 5000 young students:

  • 63% said they would not care if social media did not exist,
  • 71% said they had taken temporary digital detoxes to escape social media.
  • A total of 57% said they had received abusive comments online,
  • 56% admitted to being on the edge of addiction
  • 52% said social media made them feel less confident about how they look or how interesting their life is.
  • While more than 60% believed friends showed a “fake version” of themselves on social media, 85% of pupils denied they were guilty of that themselves.

When young people have time away from social media they see and feel the benefits: they sleep better, concentrate and therefore learn better and feel better.”

(Samantha Price - Headmistress of Benenden School)

The human costs of always “being connected”

  • Addiction / dependence. “Problematic media use” = dysfunctional ways of engaging with media & encompasses IGD (Internet Gaming Disorder), internet addiction, technology addiction. Associated with compulsive and obsessive use of devices and other media.
  • Distraction / inability to focus
  • Source of tension in many families
  • Lowered empathy and social wellbeing

Highjacking our Minds

A man must elevate himself by his own mind, not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well BG 6.5


Turning Our Children into Psychotic Junkies (NY Times)

Brain imaging Research shows that digital media affects the brains frontal cortex which controls executive functioning, including impulse control.

Dopamine - a pernicious Neurotransmitter, also known as the pleasure chemical. Plays a part in addiction to sugar/hard drugs and digital screens. It is the chemical reaction in our brains, that gives us this feel good gratification, that we long for again. Research has shown this is the same pathway used in cocaine addiction.

Online gaming – The risks

  • in-game bullying,
  • online grooming
  • Inappropriate content
  • Violence
  • gaming addiction.
  • Physical health

Girls and the online world

  • New anxieties: friends, likes.
  • Everything is revealed
  • Do I look pretty?
  • Cyber world is renowned for cruelty, bullying & pack attacks
  • rewarding exhibitionism
  • Growing up in a pornified world https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oScQeuyipzU

The effects of growing up in a “pornified world”

  • shapes young people’s behaviour
  • children grow up seeing sexual violence before having sex

(first generation to see this). Studies of boys who have seen porn show they are more likely to accept the idea that it’s okay to force a girl to have sex.

  • Presents a distortion of respect-based sexuality, with no intimacy or connection.
  • It tells girls they are mere “service stations” for men and boys, objects for their gratification.

After playing Grand Theft Auto, in which women are presented as sexual objects, a large sample of teenage boys reported significantly lower levels of sympathy and compassion when shown a photo of a female victim of domestic violence.” (From the Telegraph 2016)

How to stay connected to our children

At the ages of 10-14 your children is preparing for adulthood.

  • Take every chance to listen and ask them about their thoughts, life and world .
  • Children at this age need more, not less, of our time, interest and availability.
  • Teach, explain, coach, involve and inquire.
  • Help your child to find their “Spark” = what gives them deep satisfaction in their heart. This could be a skill or talent, a commitment, or a quality of character.

Understanding our children’s needs

Adolescents have valid needs and may behave in dysfunctional ways to meet those needs. Some common needs and the way they might be met are:

  • the need to escape from the world for a while
  • the need for approval _ CRUCIAL that this is met
  • the need to feel independent from you - Can be trying for the parent!

These are all valid needs, even if they are engaging in messy ways to meet them.

2019 cyber safety powerpt.pptx - Google Slides