Friends of Ngala Lunch speaker Donna Cross recommends quality over quantity when children use technology

Donna Cross with Ewan and Louis Bardsley
Donna Cross with Ewan and Louis Bardsley

MONITORING what children are doing online is more important than limiting the time they spend on devices, according to former WA Australian of the Year Donna Cross.

The UWA professor who does her research at the Telethon Kids Institute, which recently moved to Perth Children’s Hospital, will advise parents at next week’s Friends of Ngala fundraiser to focus on quality over quantity.

Prof Cross said blocking or banning children from devices shut down learning.

“I want to help parents get interactive with their children… show interest and narrate their learning,” Prof Cross said.

“They need to be aware of the five C’s when children are using technology; context, contacts, confidentiality, conduct and content.”

Prof Cross said confidentiality was particularly important.

“With my children I have Google alerts set up with their names and addresses and do regular checks,” she said.

Prof Cross said parents also needed to lead by example and be aware of how they were using technology around their children.

The Friends of Ngala Lunch raising money for the not-for-profit that provides parenting, family, children and youth support is on Friday, August 31 at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

Tickets are available at https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=392905.

Tips to keep children safe:

1.Negotiate clear rules about what they are allowed to do when using digital technology and for how long.

2.Learn to use social media or other sites your children like to use, ask your children to show you how to maintain privacy, how to get help and how to close them.

3.Learn the privacy settings and parental controls on the digital technology used in your home.

4.Google your children’s names to see if it is mentioned online and set up a Google alert to notify you when anything about your children is posted online.

5.If your child is being cyber bullied contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to close the account of the person bullying.

6.Talk with your children regularly about what they are doing online and shoulder surf to supervise and monitor their behaviour.

7.Teach your children to be a positive bystander and help their friends and others if they see them doing something that puts them at risk, or if they are being harmed online.