Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How to Keep a Child Safe Online

Today is Safer Internet Day, a day when the world joins together to celebrate and promote the responsible, positive and safe use of the internet by children and young people. Which is a good thing.

Forget the 30 and 20-somethings glued to their screens in a darkened bedroom dressed in their pants 24 hours a day surrounded by three weeks worth of empty Pot Noodle cartons. They are beyond help. But we can, and we should, make the internet a safer place for the next generation.

And it just so happens I have some handy hints for anyone who is worried about the effect of today's rapidly developing technology on the young minds in their charge. Here is ...

The Definitive Guide to How to Keep a Child Safe on the Internet

1: Don't let them near that shit.

    There is absolutely no reason at all why anybody under the age of ten should be anywhere near the internet at all and particularly not on their own. Children notoriously have no discrimination, or taste. Witness the popularity of the Fimbles.

2: As they get older, children will insist that they need to access the internet to do their homework. They don't.

   There are books (which probably contain more accurate information than can be found on the internet anyway). And there are libraries to get the books from. At least there would be if Cameron didn't keep shutting them down :/

         If you have to succumb and they stop believing that the broadband has to be hand cranked for three hours before establishing a connection. Remember to....

3: Enroll your child into all and any social network they express an interest in joining

4: Don't tell them the password.

5: Friend them.

6: Post as many embarrassing photos of said child as possible. Tag them.

7: Post many, many memes about a mother's love as possible every day (about five). Tag them. 

8: Jollily comment on every status they dare put. Call them darling. A lot.

9: Do not express any surprise when they want to shut their account.


10: Police them. Constantly.

      Leap out at them at all times when they're accessing the internet. From behind a curtain. Out of the wardrobe. From under the bed. It matters not. Don't be afraid to utilise the element of surprise to destabilise the potential of excessive internet exploration.  
      (Uniform, optional).

Good luck.

Stay safe.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

How To Win At The School Run

Once your child enters the education system you, the parent, will be required to daily deliver and pick up said child to and from it's place of learning.

At first you might even think meeting other parents waiting at the school gate  is a chance to make new friends and enjoy a bit of adult interaction.

You would, of course, be wrong.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Leading by Example, An Experiment (Failed)

We've been troubled by The Teen's absorption in the wonders of the world wide web for a while now.

When she's not on her laptop playing Minecraft with like-minded devotees, she's watching people playing it on YouTube. When she's all Minecrafted out, she relaxes watching vloggers, vlogging or her favourite show, RWBY which is, of course, only available on YouTube. And when finally the laptop is put away, the iPod comes out so she can listen to music. With accompanying videos. On YouTube.

To The Teen this is a varied diet of activities and she is constantly astonished that we might think otherwise. But of course we do.

We worry about it, and we worry about her. We worried when we got a mobile phone bill for over £300, incurred by wilfully ignoring her data allowance. We worried about that quite a bit in fact. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

30 Things I've Learned Since I Was 50 ...

It's nearly a whole year since I was dragged kicking, screaming and drinking gin into my fifth decade but after the initial, frankly terrifying, trauma of getting there, being 50 hasn't been the long dark tea-time of the soul that I was expecting.

True, I might as well dance through the precinct every Wednesday afternoon in nought but tassels and a tutu for I have become one of the invisible women. That age group of women whose opinion and ideas excite no-one and mean nothing except, perhaps, to supermarket retailers. Still, could be worse I suppose. I could be Angela Merkel. Or Kris Jenner.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Street Photography

I'm always fond of a good Instagram hashtag and one of my favourites is #streetphotography, though the definition of what constitutes street photography can be confusing. Especially to some of the 'young ladies' who post on the Instagram hashtag apparently. 

So if street photography isn't just photos of streets (though it can be) or naked ladies (which it is some of the time on Instagram *rolls eyes*); what is it?

Street photography is capturing a scene as you go about the, preferably but not necessarily, urban world around you. It's not reportage (there's no story or meaning to it), it's not documentary (for much the same reasons). It's not landscape, it's not a portrait, it's just a scene that catches the eye .....

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Dictionary of Teen: - On Fleek

There are many baffling moments in the parenting of teens without them developing entire new words to baffle you with as well, but they do it all the same. This is another in an occasional series of  The Dictionary of Teen ... 

On Fleek: 

Meaning the same as on point but used particularly in reference to successfully groomed eyebrows and evenly applied eyeliner...

Friday, 6 November 2015

Why Whitby?

Why do you always go to Whitby, they ask. Well, my mother asks. Every single time we go. And we go a lot. We went  again at half term, as it happens.

I first went, for the day, when I was 18 years old with a friend as a celebration after we'd finished our A level exams many, many years ago. While there we did all the Whitby things: bought lucky ducks, went up the 199 steps to the Abbey, and visited the Romany fortune teller in the harbour.

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