HI folks. I know that many of you received a version of a particular message in your inbox from your school today. I also know that some of those messages were somewhat helpful, and others left you scratching your head.
In any case, I know that you want the very, very best for your young person, so, just in case you have some questions, doubts, unrequited need for information please read on and share…
I’ve collated some resources that numerous wonderful and generous people I know have thrown forth to provide you with solace, and the information you need in these testing times… It really does take a community to raise a child and let’s remember, we are all part of that community. So let’s share, let’s help one another in these testing times…
Dear parents and Carers,
“I am writing to share some resources and supportive information that you may consider sharing with your young people in these challenging times. This message is specifically about a distressing piece of video content that has been reported to be circulating on social media platforms.
While urgent action is being taken to remove the material from circulation, it is possible that some material is still in circulation. It is also possible that some of our students may be, or may have been exposed to it as they access their own social media accounts. The material is reported to be of a highly disturbing nature and would likely cause distress, particularly to students who might be in vulnerable circumstances.”
May I please encourage you to:
- Love your young person, even if they smell weird, say awful things or forget to hug you at appropriate times. Young people have information firing at them from all angles at any given time of the day. You, as the parent or carer are their stable adult. We ‘get’ adulting is hard, please ‘get’ that teening is too.
- Go with your gut – if you’re concerned for your young person do something and tell someone. It really does take a whole community to raise our young people and we know you, as a parent need support just as much as we do in the school community. We have year advisors and school counsellors at hand – your young person may consider them daggy but hey! They are available, even if it’s just for you to do a bit of checking in.
- Monitor your children’s online activity and be aware of their emotional or psychological health and responses. (Noting, young people don’t take well to monitoring so swap your monitoring for a general sneak if required).
- Report any inappropriate material viewed online to the social media platform on which it was seen, or to eSafety at www.esafety.gov.au/report/illegal-harmful-content
- Ask your child (and for that matter the people around you RuOK ? Need more details on how to go about that https://www.ruok.org.au/
- Please encourage anyone who you think needs support, including worried family and friends, to contact one of the services listed above.
- Remain vigilant, caring and interested as you monitor your child’s activity in online forums, chats and social media platforms (and if you’re called a boomer, or a Karen just suck it up)
- Create a supportive environment with your young person. This doesn’t happen overnight (let’s face it, they can be annoying and smell bad) but give it time, be patient and keep your mind open.
- Keep the following phone numbers handy:
- Emergency: If a life is in danger call Triple Zero (000) immediately
- Kids Helpline. 1800 55 1800 Phone support all day, everyday online support 9am-midnight every day.
- Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467 Phone support all day, every day. Chat online
- eHeadspace 1800 650 890 (open 9am – 1am daily (AEST) online
- Lifeline 13 11 14 Phone support all day, every day. Online support 7pm-4am daily (AEST)
- Beyondblue 1300 22 4636 Phone support all day, every day. online support 3pm-midnight everyday
Additional resources to support you to navigate your young person through these testing times, and support your school community as you do so (either via sharing resources, or backing up their messaging) :
- Read this post from Rachel Downie, sourced from Maggie Dent’s website
- The government and Department of Education have toolkits available to all schools. https://www.esafety.gov.au/educators/toolkit-schools
- eSafety Commissioner www.esafety.gov.au
- Safe on Social https://www.safeonsocial.com/
Got more to add? Please add it into the comments.