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Technology

Lifestyle Parenting Social Media Technology

Parents Need to Treat Cyberbullying like Crossing the Street

Cyberbullying has been making headway as a leading contributor to the demise of our youth’s mental health. Yet a recent survey conducted by Parent Tested Parent Approvedshowed that out of over 1200 respondents, 50 percent of parents had not broached the topic of cyberbullying with their children. This is a shockingly high statistic.

According to a Statistics Canada Health Report, Canadians aged 15-24 years old had a higher rate of depression than any other group in the survey. “Negative social interactions” was a contributor to these statistics. So why then the low rate of conversations happening in Canadian homes?

Of those surveyed by Parent Tested Parent Approved, 38 percent of respondents indicated they trusted their children to “act safely and appropriately when online” while 34 percent of respondents indicated they felt their children would tell them if they were being cyberbullied.

One might wonder if parents are placing too much faith in their children to make the right choices innately. Parents find it necessary to teach children to look both ways before crossing a street, so shouldn’t the dangers of cyberbullying be of equal concern? Teens, now more than ever, are developing relationships with their peers online and social media gives many a heightened sense of confidence to say things online that they wouldn’t say in person. This has proven to be extremely dangerous.

As parents we need to do everything possible to equip our children with the tools they need to make good choices online.

The survey also revealed that a contributing factor to parents avoiding the topic of cyberbullying related directly to their limited level of tech savviness. More than 20 percent of those surveyed indicated that they were unaware that tools existed in the marketplace to monitor their children’s online activity. The same parents were unaware that free solutions existed online to educate their children on the inherent dangers of the internet.

Cyberbullying is a topic that must be addressed by parents of children who have access to the online world. It should be one discussed as a family on a regular basis and there are solutions that allow parents to help their children navigate the dangers. Two solutions that are free and easily accessible yet incredibly well designed include:

Google Interland, which aims to “Help kids be safe, confident explorers of the online world” through a series of games and challenges. The games help teach children how online predators might disguise themselves through their social profiles and how it’s “cool to be kind” and treat others as you would like to be treated. I loved this particular tool so much I even put together a quick video outlining what it can teach your children.

Another free solution which is targeted at the entire family is Telus Wise. The free initiative by Telus aims at keeping families safe from cyberbullying and financial fraud. They have a section to help parents navigate social media and common terminology. They also offer great resources for children and teachers. This is a great initiative by a telco to make a difference in its community.

Tools exist to make parenting a bit easier when it comes to cyberbullying. As parents, we need to do everything possible to equip our children with the tools they need to make good choices online. So next time they are heading out the door and you remind them to take their jacket and look both ways before crossing the street, maybe throw in a “be safe online” as a reminder that you are holding them accountable for their digital footprint.

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Lifestyle Parenting Technology

The Aftershokz Culture

I rarely write product reviews, but when a product takes my office by storm, I feel like it warrants some mention.

In December, the team at Aftershokz sent over a set of their Trekz Air for everyone on our team as a gift. This became an addiction. I kid you not when I tell you that everyone on the team wears these the entire workday.

We used to all sit at our individual desks with either earbuds or large noise reduction headphones blocking us out from each other and the rest of the world. Then these appeared. Bone conduction headphones that let us hear the world around us. All of the sudden, we were listening to music but also engaging in more conversations. It was a shift.

While most companies are making their headphones tinier and more obscure, what made us become addicts to our Aftershokz?

The beauty is in their design. They don’t sit in your ear, they sit just ahead of your ear along your jaw bone… Why? So the world around you is not shut out.

Personally, I just love that my ears no longer get sore! People used to come to my office and because of my abundance of hair, they didn’t have a clue I was wearing earbuds. they would be having full conversations with me only to realize I hadn’t heard a thing. Didn’t even know they were there.

Enter Aftershokz Trekz Air. These earphones (no, they are not referred to as headphones) are lightweight and don’t fall off or out like my earbuds. Their titanium design and flexible fit wrap around the back of your head and are comfortable and stable. Best of all, for the fitness buffs, they are water repellant because sadly, I haven’t figured out how not to sweat when working out.

They are wireless because what isn’t wireless these days? They last up to 6 hours and because they sit along my cheekbone, I can hear what’s going on around me. Best of all, the sound is fantastic! Whether on a call or listening to music, I was shocked as to the quality since they weren’t in my actual ear!

As a parent, I especially love that they let you hear what’s going on around you. I consider it a life-saving feature actually. When my kids are walking to and from the bus along busy streets, I hate it when they have their earbuds in, they are completely unaware of what is going on around them. Of course, I wouldn’t dare ask them to disconnect themselves from their phones so the next best thing is a set of Trekz Air. Now they can hear the traffic around them and no longer be completely oblivious.

Thank you Aftershokz for helping me keep my kids safe yet “cool” and for creating a culture of more social conversations in our offices!

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@ptpashar Founder and CEO of Parent Tested Parent Approved @ptpamedia built her business on the basis of trust. “Consumers aren’t just buying from you, but buying into you” says Sharon, who even says businesses should “turn their social teams into trust teams.” Check out ➡️ www.ptpamedia.com/trust to learn the importance of:
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