Care-a-lot Series: Care Bear says Lesson 1

So, What is the Care-a-lot series and why should you tell your friends? You may be asking why our Care Bear has suddenly come into your lives and why she wants to make your Care-a-lot Kingdom better… take a couple minutes to read this post and find out.

Our Care Bear is going to magically fly into your lives and give you support messages to help you protect yourself, your family and your loved one’s by offering pearls of wisdom.

Today’s Care-a-lot lesson is on, “How to protect your children from the dark side of cellphone use.”

Who does not have a cellphone? Even Care Bears have mobile phones! I know 13 year old Care Bears and Tweens that have mobile phones. Cellphones have provided us with a quick and easy way to communicate with each other, make 3D videos, record HD music concerts and share our lives on the go.

On the one side cellphones have been a blessing for youngsters who wish to stay in touch with their friends all the time. These Tweens can easily plan social gatherings, catch-up and shoot the breeze in seconds. On the other side though, it’s a potential challenge for parents if cellphone use is not managed (as there are some No Heart villains out there).

Being a parent in the modern world is quite frightening. The massive changes society has seen as a result of technology over the past 20 year’s means that there is no precedent for how to deal with the dark side of this explosion. Parents find themselves grappling with a wide variety of cellphone-related issues, from the moment their child / mini Care Bears start to use a mobile phone.

Cellphones are an unavoidable part of modern culture. Mothers and Fathers feel obligated to provide their child with a cellphone, especially for safety reasons. Phones are even dished out so they can fit in with their buddies.

Whatever your reason is for giving your teenager a cellphone, the fact remains that there is a down side to cellphone usage for younger viewers. There are thousands of articles detailing parents’ concerns about the possibility of their child gaining access to adult material. Other apprehensions include the dangers of cyber-bullying and the meeting of strangers in chat rooms. There are also monetary concerns around abusing contracts.

It is time for our Care Bear to educate you on how to teach your munchkins on how to manage their security on their mobile phone.

  • If parents do come across evidence of inappropriate mobile contact with a child, keep a thorough record and if need be, report it as quickly as possible to the local authorities. Remember: Printouts are not sustainable evidence, you need electronic evidence and live data.
  • Parents should encourage their children to think carefully about the messages, photographs and other content about themselves that they post via social networking and what message that sends out to the world about them.
  • Parents may want to block access to certain inappropriate material if this facility is offered by the mobile operator.

As a Care Bear who loves technology we are not saying that you should stay away from technology as you need to embrace it by taking the steps to avoid unnecessary cyber-crimes.

Care Bear says, “We must be equipped so we can teach our children and talk to them about the positives of technology by warming them about the negative factors too. By putting in the time and empowering our young leaders to learn and use cellphones as a platform to help others and stimulate positive debate, we will be the parents that helped made a better Care-a-lot. After all, if you take the time to know what our Tweens are doing and how they are using technology it will give you less stress rather than a you always having to play ‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall.”

Two useful websites specifically relevant to the South African environment are www.cellphonesafety.co.za and www.parentscorner.org.za (Check them out)

Care Bear over and out!

We hope that you find this information useful, feel free to share this post with your friends and fellow bears.

Feedback is also appreciated and welcome, so leave me a comment and as the Caring Bear that I am, I will be sure to get back to you!

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