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Find out how Dr Jiow Hee Jhee set media usage boundaries for his children.

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Downloadable Resources

We have created these resources for busy parents who are keen to find more about parenting in this digital age. Feel free to download, print and share the information you find here.

1. Dads’ MediaTech Resource Kit

Parents play a pivotal role in their children's digital well-being. Aimed at empowering fathers to raise children that are safe,smart and kind digital citizens, this resource features handy and practical tips such as the easily implementable '5 Digital Rules for Our Homes'.  

Download a copy of the Dad's MediaTech Resource Kit.

2. What is the right age to give my child a smartphone?

Giving your child a smart phone is a major parenting milestone for many. Read on to find out information about when is the right time to give your child a smart phone.

Download a copy of the guide

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Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is the act of using the Internet or digital devices with the intent of hurting a person or group.

1. What are examples of cyberbullying?

  • Hurtful messages, texts, or emails
  • Embarrassing photos or videos
  • Excluding someone online
  • Spreading false rumours about someone online

2. How can I tell if my child is being cyber-bullied

  • Changes in their sleep patterns
  • Poorer physical health
  • Changes in personality, like becoming more withdrawn, angry, or anxious
  • School grades suffering
  • Changes in social circles, like losing many friends
  • Sudden lack of desire to go to school or societies
  • Upset after using their phone or going online
  • Becoming secretive about their phone use

3. My child is being cyber-bullied. What can I do?

  • Start a conversation: talk to them and keep an eye on their online and offline behaviour
  • Be open: if you want them to be honest, you need to reassure them that nothing bad will happen and that you won’t restrict their access to the Internet just because they’ve told you about their problem
  • Support them: remind them that they did not ask to be bullied, and that it is not their fault
  • Manage the situation: in the shorter term, encourage your child not to retaliate to the messages, and to block or unfriend the bully
  • Save the evidence: if the messages or posts are online, save or screenshot them
  • Report the bully: most social networking sites have the option to report content 
  • Turn to the school: if the cyberbullying involves another student of the school, or other teaching institutions like a tuition centre, approach a teacher or school as they likely have a policy in place to handle such issues
  • Approach the other parent: if there is no mediator to approach, like if the cyber-bully is a neighbour or family friend, approach the other child’s parent with the evidence – keep the meeting private, respectful, and keep your tone calm and un-accusatory so as not to escalate the situation
 

4. The cyberbullying material is still online!

  • Report all hurtful or embarrassing messages, posts, photos, and videos on the social media site that it happened on: the social media sites should remove these posts within 2 days
  • Save the evidence of the cyberbullying: save messages, keep screenshots of chats, and download photos and videos for evidence if you later make a complaint
  • Block the cyber-bully: block them on all sites that they can contact your child so that, while the material is being removed, they cannot reach them
  • Report the cyber-bully to the authorities: speak to your child about the option of contacting law enforcement or a lawyer

5. My child is a cyber-bully. What can I do?

  • Talk to your child: be empathetic and ask questions like, “How would you feel if you were left out of games?”
  • Be open: if you want them to be honest, you need to reassure them that you will not judge their behaviour or immediately restrict their access to the Internet because of their behaviour (that can come later)
  • Support your child: encourage them to be honest about their behaviour and apologise to those they have bullied
  • Talk about consequences if they continue: discuss with your child appropriate punishment if they continue their behaviour, such as not allowing them to use their phone for a day for every mean comment
  • Praise your child: pay attention to the changes they are making to behave better
  • Spend time with them: find activities where your child will feel more successful and good about themselves, then take part in these with them
  • Talk to the school: if the cyberbullying involves another student, approach the school to find additional support – most schools have a policy in place to handle such issues

 

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Digital footprints

Your child’s digital footprint is everything in the digital world that is about them.

1. What are examples of digital footprints?

  • Search history
  • Text messages, including deleted messages
  • Photos and videos, including deleted ones
  • Tagged photos
  • Likes/loves on sites like Facebook and Instagram
  • Browser history, even when using ‘Incognito’ mode

2. Why does my child’s digital footprint matter?

Your child might not understand why their digital footprint matters yet. Be sure to sit down with them to explain the consequences of their digital footprint to them.

  • Once information is online, it can be difficult (or impossible) to remove
  • Your child’s digital footprint determines their digital reputation, which is now as important as their offline reputation
  • Explain to your child how their digital footprints can affect their future acceptance into schools, universities, and jobs – these might seem very distant to them, but make it clear that these are consequences that will have an effect on their lives
  • Words and photos can be easily misinterpreted and altered, causing unintentional insult
  • Content intended for a private group can easily spread to a broader circle, hurting relationships and friendships

3. What can my child do to leave better digital footprints?

  • Stop and think before they post, forward, or reply to something
  • Remind them that they are responsible for what they say about and to others
  • Show them how to set their settings on social media sites to private, and remind them to check and update this regularly

To leave less digital footprints, you and your family can use encrypted, privacy-friendly app alternatives such as Signal, Telegram, and Wire. However, remind them that this does not mean that they can say whatever they want online!

 

 

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Fake news

Fake news is any information that is deliberately or accidentally false, often published with the intention of misleading the public, damaging an entity, or gaining financially.

1. What are examples of fake news?

  • Satire, funny stories based off some truth, that are then spread as the truth
  • News alleging negative things about someone’s character
  • Advertisements trying to gain profit by lying about their costs

2. Why is it dangerous to spread fake news?

  • Public panic may be caused
  • Resources are wasted as the authorities check the validity of claims
  • Reputations are hurt when false allegations are made

3. How can I teach my child to spot fake news?

Sit together with your child at their digital device, like the computer, and teach them these tips about spotting fake news. Where possible, go to different news sites and search random news stories.

  • Check the source: try find news from credible sources that have a good reputation, not just through your friends or social media
  • Look at the About Us or Contact Us pages: fake websites often don’t have these pages, or have very little helpful information on them
  • Decide on reliable news sources: discuss with your child which sources they think are reliable, and come up with a list of 3 sources
  • Confirm with these reliable sources: encourage them to check news stories against your agreed list of 3 reliable sources
  • Go to the experts: together, explore websites such as Snopes and FactCheck, who have teams who verify whether popular news stories are true or fake, and Factually and AskST, who check the truth of Singapore-based stories
  • Do not share: encourage your child not to post, share, or forward stories that they receive without checking it

 

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Inappropriate content

The Internet is unfortunately full of content that might be obscene or otherwise unsuitable for your child to look at.

1. What are examples of inappropriate content?

  • Content promoting hate based on race, religion, disability, sexual preference, etc.
  • Content promoting violent extremism
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Real or simulated violence
  • Content advocating unsafe behaviour, such as self-harm or eating disorders

2. My child has seen inappropriate content. What can I do?

  • Have an open conversation about what they saw and how they felt about it
  • Support your child and talk them through their emotions if they are upset or distressed
  • Block the site or report the content on the platform that it appeared
  • If you think someone is targeting your child with inappropriate content, contact the authorities – there are laws in place in Singapore to protect young children from being sexually exploited

3. My child is sharing inappropriate content. What can I do?

  • Teach them about the harms and dangers of sharing inappropriate content, and ask them questions like, “How would you feel if someone sent you something that upset you?”
  • Tighten your control on their technology through stricter parental controls – you can even download apps that let you view all the messages your child sends on their phone

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Protecting personal information

Personal information is anything that can be used to identify you in real life.

1. What are examples of personal information?

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Photos
  • Date of birth
  • NRIC number
  • School
  • Email address

2. When might my child share personal information?

There are several activities online which require some disclosure of personal information, including:

  • Registering: signing up for sites often requires a name and email address, but your child may be asked for their gender, date of birth, and more, but a red asterisk (*) often marks out the fields they must enter to register
  • Shopping: sites may ask for further details to verify their identity, process payments, and make deliveries

3. How can I help my child protect their personal information?

  • Teach them to only use secure websites when sharing personal information: look at the URL bar and check that it begins with https:// and has a ‘locked’ padlock symbol on the left, which indicates that data is encrypted
  • Read a user agreements or privacy policy together: go through the policy of a social networking site they use together, and remind them not to give their email address to organisations that sell their information
  • Tell them never to share their password with anyone
  • Remind them to use a different password for each online account, and to change them regularly
  • Teach them how to a strong password, which are more than 8 characters long, and include numbers, symbols, and both lowercase and uppercase letters. Here is how you can create a strong password together:
    • Think of a sentence with at least 8 words (Jack and Jill went up the hill)
    • Take the first letter of each word (jajwuth)
    • Change some letters to uppercase (JajwUth)
    • Change some letters to symbols (J&jwUth)
    • Add some numbers (J&jwUth2)

4. What happens if someone has my child’s personal information?

There are many consequences of sharing personal information, including:

  • Spam emails
  • Scams
  • Fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Damage to reputation

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Screen time management

Screen time is the amount of time spent on digital devices and media for fun.

1. How much screen time is too much?

As adults, we do not need someone to tell us how much time we should spend online or on our devices. But your child might need some guidelines. It is important stay aware of how much time your child is spending online, and the impact this has on both their school life – making sure that their grades are not suffering – and their social life – making sure that their relationships with friends and family are not impacted. If either of these areas are affected, then they probably need to cut back on how much time they spend online.

2. What are the effects of too much screen time?

  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Being unable to sleep restfully every night
  • Constantly talking about something from their online life, such as a game or website
  • Thinking that their online activities and friends are more important than anything else
  • Disconnecting from the ‘real world’ and losing touch with their friends and family
  • Work suffering, e.g., being late to school, scoring lower marks, missing deadlines

This does not mean there are no benefits to having screen time. There are websites, games, and apps that can help your child gain literary skills, test their problem-solving skills, and more. However, they need to find a good balance between their online and offline lives and practice self-control.

3. What can I do to reduce my child’s screen time use?

  • If you have a young child, do not let them use phones or watch TV to entertain them
  • Be aware of how much time your child spends looking at screens every day – apps like Moment can help them track their online usage, and not only might numbers shock them into cutting down their time online, but the app lets them set daily limits on their mobile usage
  • Set rules for how much time your child can spend looking at screens every day, e.g., using their phone for only one hour a day or only on certain days of the week
  • Encourage your child to shut off their devices with an early warning, e.g., a 5-minute reminder with eye contact acknowledgement, or an alarm clock
  • Do not forcefully remove or turn off devices when the time is up – instead, let your child exercise self-control and put away their devices voluntarily
  • Have your entire family take part in activities that do not rely on digital devices, such as going to the park or playing a board game together
  • Have specific times of day where your entire family puts down your devices, such as during meal times or for an hour before you go to sleep
If your child games too often, remember the 3-2-1 rule: play games less than 3 times a week, limit their total screen time to less than 2 hours a day, and let them play games for less than 1 hour a day