Get Ready To Talk!
A world interconnected by technology
The Internet can be a great place to learn and connect with friends. It can also present challenges. Access to the Internet via a computer means a doorway to a billion people. Some people are nice. Some can be cruel and dishonest. And with TV on around the clock with 500 channels it means we live in a world where we might stare at a screen of some kind for a third of our lives. And the Internet (just like TV and radio) is trying to sell kids everything from jeans to prescription drugs to x-rated movies.
The Let's Talk activities help parents and their children talk about screen time and face-to-face time with family and friends. The activities can help families understand how to use the Internet, TV and electronic games in a way that's healthy. By talking about Internet dangers, kids will be better prepared to avoid dangers on the Internet.
Cell Phones + Internet=Always Connected
Smart Phones now provide access to the Internet which means young people may connect to friends, family, strangers and on-going advertisements everywhere they go. The Internet can get in the way of focused time in class and quality time between family and friends. It is a new world with information technology - families and educators are struggling to find ways to use the Internet in a way that helps and doesn't hurt.
Goals of "The Talk"
The goal of this "talk" is to help parents and children:
- Define terms related to "screen time" and "face-to-face time"
- Define terms related to cyberbullying, scams, and spam
- Discuss the difference between real experiences and virtual experiences
- Discuss how to respond when facing problems online
- Identify the safety problems associated with web use on a computer or phone
- Identify where to go for help if problems with the internet or cell phones exist
- Discuss family rules, school rules and laws that related to the internet and cell phones
- Discuss community projects which support youth-friendly and safe access to the internet
As you explore
As you explore this site, you and your child can learn in a variety of ways. This "talk" includes the following family activities:
- Let's Talk Activities
- Safety Rules
- Questions and Answers
- 10 Tips
You may also access the google map directory of services, guide to resources, glossary of terms, calendar of events (to attend a Let's Talk parent workshop), or learn about local Community Projects your family can support.
The "Let's Talk" Activities
The Internet, whether accessed through a computer or phone, can present big problems for young people.
It's best to be prepared to deal with the problems one will find online before one spends too much time online.
Using the above Let's Talk activities can help young people think about ways to cope with problems online. The activities can be used in a way that is easy and fun-- leading to all kinds of interesting talks about online communication. Parent and child can work together on filling in the cartoon characters' thinking and speaking bubbles.
There are no right or wrong answers, just lots of opportunities to discuss the issues. It just takes a few minutes to chat about how the bubbles were filled in and to explore the issues of Internet safety, cell phone rules, screen time and face-to-face time with your child.
In the video, "Let's Talk about Mixed Messages in the Media" a family is watching a TV commercial selling jeans.
Questions & Answers
Kids and lots of adults have questions about keeping safe, healthy and successful in school. We have collected commonly asked questions and responses from around the nation.
What is the difference between growing up without the Internet (as many parents did), and with it (as today's young people do)?
Most parents today did not grow up with everyday use of the Internet. Grandparents grew up writing and receiving letters and phone calls. And there weren't 500 stations on 24/7 selling products and promoting sex, drug use, and violence. Today, all kids know is that most people are connected by the Internet...
Every family has values about how people should be treated...
...and this means how we treat people face-to-face and online via the Internet.We know that there is a lot of rude and cruel behavior online in chat rooms and through email. The Internet allows people to be anonymous, so people can act anyway they want. A parent might feel strongly that all people should be treated with respect, whether online or off. This value can be a guide for people to follow.
10 Tips About the Internet & Media
We have created a list of ten ways to keep young people safe, healthy and successful at home, school and in the community. Read about "10 Tips About the Internet and Media" and share your tips, too.
'Here's What I Know' Quiz
Now that you have learned so much about the internet and media, take a moment and try the 'Here's What I Know' quiz. It's only a few questions and a good chance to show what you know.