By its very nature, adolescent development includes elements of peer negotiation, identity construction, and sexual experimentation (including gender roles and exhibitionism). It’s the learning process required by young people to function as members of our culture. In other words, they have to figure out who they want to hang out with, how they want to act and think of themselves as social and sexual persons, and they have to try out boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.
This has long been the approach of Safe Online where we appraoch the Internet and Internet Safety from a place of possibility and positivity rather than negativity and scare tactics. Heres a great article from the Independant.ie that delves a little deeper. Parents should try to encourage conversations about what sites and apps their children access and who they're connecting with. This dialogue is essential to keeping our kids safe online. We need a more balanced and less fear-based approach to internet safety, writes Dr. Rachel O'Connell. - Read the full article
"In 2012/2013, we delivered 140 presentations to 17,927 people in various regions of British Columbia including: Brackendale, Victoria, Port Alberni, Kelowna, Penticton, Sorrento, Salmon Arm, Summerland, Revelstoke, Prince George and the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver areas." Click to read Solos 2013 Annual Report Post AGM
Last Friday, TELUS launched an ambitious education initiative aimed at parents and students. I was happy to attend and meet with the movers and shakers behind this great project and applaud their support for internet safety education. Strathcona Elementary School accepts donations from TELUS I also wrote a blog post about this initiative and the anniversary of Amanda Todd's death here.
When 'A Platform for Good' asked me to write a post for their blog, we were thrilled. Choosing a topic wasn't easy though. So many worthy subjects that we could choose from in our field - Internet Safety. I chose to write about our Youth-2-youth Program, one near and dear to my heart, especially because it incorporates so nicely restorative justice principles.
I spent fifteen years as a youth worker and when I wrote my first article about children, youth and the internet, the prevailing concerns were about online sexual exploitation and the vulnerabilities inherent in letting children loose in the un-restricted wild west show that was the internet. Then, we were concerned about MSN instant messaging and pedophiles who might lure young people out of their homes to be sexually assaulted.
"Wow! It was a great talk. I wish even more parents had the opportunity to see hear/see it. I hope we can get them to come in to present to our students (at least the older ones)." Toni.