Living Digitally with Primary Aged Children

Michael Carr-Gregg’s return visit to Tintern Grammar to talk about Living Digitally with Primary Aged Children, a  much anticipated follow up to last term’s similar event aimed at Secondary parents, again proved to be entertaining and informative.

The first question that he posed to our panel, “What age should a kid get their first mobile phone?”, led to a very detailed and enlightening discussion from our panel members: our Principal Mr Brad Fry, Melanie Gillies from the The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Richard Read, a current parent and member of the Victoria Police, and the Principals from Tinternvale and Eastwood Primary Schools.

The collective consensus and emphasised by Michael, was that there is “…too much emphasis on chronological age…” rather than on the ability to set and adhere to tone and boundaries. Michael stated that “Age does not define maturity”, whilst Melanie equated having access to a Smartphone being akin to handing a young teenager a set of keys and saying ‘now drive a car’…

The panel discussed many issues pertinent to having primary aged children immersed in a digital world, and shortly, parents will be sent a summary of these, combined with a ‘tip sheet’.

Four key points stressed by Michael Carr-Gregg were:

  1. The 3Cs of Cyber safety are important; Contact, Conduct and Content. Adults need to have detailed conversations with their children about how to conduct themselves in the Digital World
  2. Primary Aged children need to have set rules and boundaries about content that they upload and download, and utilise…
  3. For Primary Aged children, all online contacts should only be people that are known ‘face to face’
  4. Parents need to model expectations…..what you expect of your child, model yourself…this includes when, where and how you use your phone/computer/ipad
  5. Whilst filters for home computers are handy, The best filters are the head and heart! Help your child to be able to determine what is right and what is wrong when in the Digital World
  6. Children in primary school should not be on social media

A Kenny

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