Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cyber Wellness course for parents

PSG volunteers were organized and ready to welcome the participants for the Cyber Wellness seminar on 17th Jan 09.

•Participants received handouts and a booklet (otherwise to be purchased at $6 from bookstores). You can checkout http://www.planetcrush.org/
•"...definitely a recommended guide for all parents - easy-to-read, comprehensive and relevant. It contains useful references and websites for readers..."- Mdm So Mun Yee Vice Principal, Tanjong Katong Secondary Shool

•Mei Mei, Deepu and Mega registered the participants as they streamed into the library for the seminar.
•In my own words, Cyber Wellness is about how to have your child’s interaction with the computer world be meaningful without letting it spiral out of control, into harm’s way.

•The speaker is from CRUSH, an external organisation that specializes in this area for school going children.
•This is the second time which I had attended this seminar after a year's gap. It is still an eye-opener for me as the materials are updated. I wasn’t aware that kids could purchase “cherry” stored value cards from convenience stores readily. With these cards they could gain access to some sites which could be quite objectionable.
•I was reminded that while our children may be physically away from the computer but mentally their minds could be still be wondering within cyber fantasies even when eating, doing their homework or attending classes. The course shared insights on the fundamentals into the issue from a child’s perspective and gave tips on how to manage the issue as parents.

•Tea break was provided and timed well. Parent spoke to one another to get a feel of the situation other parents are facing and exchanged points on how they are handling the situations. This was quite an icebreaker. During the chats, I found an expectation from parents to know if there are settings or software to block access to harmful sites. This can be easily done under “Tools-> Internet options-> Security” which allows you to set blocks, etc. The course is about equiping parents with more effective tools by understanding the psychology of the issue and develop practical ways to manage it.

•I came away wiser despite having attended the talk a year ago. I am again motivated to get my child to find alternative hobbies to strike a better balance with Cyber space.

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