The Guidance Counselor at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School provides short-term individual and small group guidance lessons that address academic and personal success. The Counselor provides classroom guidance lessons that include respect, bullying, conflict resolution/problem solving, study skills/test taking skills, and character education. Communication between the Guidance Counselor and parents is vital. If you have a concern about your child, please call or email.
Are you thinking of buying an electronic device for your child this year? Here are some valuable tips for parents to keep your child safe online. The full article can be found at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/6-steps-for-parents-before-giving-your-child-a-smartphone_us_592f2343e4b0d80e3a8a32bf#
1. Set up rules and expectations
Have a conversation to go over the rules and expectations of cell phone use. Create a cell phone/electronic device contract with clear expectations for use of the device and, clear consequences if the contract is broken. It is important to stick to the rules and don’t give empty promises. Children can test your limits, but it’s important to stay the adult. One rule should be to establish a time cell phones are turned off and not left in the child's room.
2. Warn about inappropriate texts and pictures
You may not be prepared to have a conversation about sexual messages, but if your child has an electronic device, you need to have a conversation about it. Sexting is real, it happens every day. Make sure you communicate with your child frequently about what is appropriate and what isn’t and make sure the child knows to come talk to you instead of being part of a chain of bad choices. Make sure to discuss appropriate apps that can be downloaded on the device. Children can be sneaky and hide apps behind other apps.
3. Teach your child about cyberbullying and how NOT to be a cyberbully
In the past, the bullies and mean people stayed at school and home was a safety net. Now that electronic devices allow us to communicate 24-7, that also allows mean comments anytime. Inform your child that if someone is saying something inappropriate or making fun online, he/she should let you know. Don’t just delete the message and move on. Adults need to step in and help before children take it too far. The best way for you to monitor what your child is seeing is for you to review the texts and searches each day. Be sure that your child is only communicating with people he/she actually knows. So You Want To Raise
4. Use it as an opportunity to teach responsibility
Cell phones and electronic devices are expensive. These items should be treated with care and as a way to teach responsibility. You know your child best. Maybe bringing the device to school is not best for your child. Have the open conversation about expectations of how the device should be handled.
5. Always remember it is YOUR phone
If you buy a phone for your child, then you are allowing your child to use your phone. No matter what your child tells you, the phone is your property, you own it. You do have a right to take it back, you have a right to turn off the data, and even turn off the service if you feel your child can not be responsible for your phone. Since it is your phone, it is important that you make sure you know how to use it.
6. Teach and model putting the phone down
Have a set time each day to for the family to unplug from electronic devices. Instead of everyone on their own device, communicate face-to-face, play games, talk as a family. Devices have shown to increase anxiety in the user. Children should be given the time to unwind at the end of the day.