As the world becomes more digital, one parent aims to help Stratford parents keep their children safe.
The Central Taranaki Kāhui Ako has organised for Rob Cope, the creator of the 2020 documentary Our Kids Online, to come to Stratford to talk to parents about cyber safety.
Rob and his wife Zareen created Our Kids Online in 2018 after their four children asked for hand-held devices. Rob says since then the couple have researched the harm caused to children by the internet and social media.
For the past three years, Rob has toured the country delivering presentations to a number of schools and communities.
“I first came to Stratford a couple of years ago and I’m pleased to be coming back. What’s great about Stratford is all the schools are involved in our Informed and Empowered online course to learn about the dangers of being online.”
Rob’s presentation is split into two parts: education and solution. The first part will teach parents the reality of the online world.
“I will discuss reality versus what people show online, the dopamine hit from scrolling, how gaming affects the brain, predators, pornography and cyberbullying.”
He says a hand-held device means kids are bringing the bullying home with them.
“They don’t have a safe space because they can be targeted 24/7 since they have the device.”
He will also talk about the negative effects social media has on mental health.
“We need to protect our children’s mental health and give them a healthier way of living. We can do this with a few simple steps.”
Those simple steps, he says, will turn a smartphone into a safe one.
“It’s important to set boundaries, have those talks and have filters on phones so children can’t access all the bad things on the internet. I’ll explain how to keep kids safe at the presentation.”
He hopes plenty of parents will show up to the meeting.
“I’m a parent myself and I know the dangers of being online. Keeping our kids safe is a group effort. We all need to step up and work together to keep our children safe.”
What: Central Taranaki Kāhui Ako presents: Parents Cyber Safety Evening with Rob Cope
When: Thursday, June 8, 7pm
Where: Stratford High School Hall, Swansea Rd, Stratford
Entry: Free admission