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Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 01 September 2014
When ABBA penned the lyrics, “I stare at the phone on the wall”, mobile phones only existed on TV as Maxwell Smart’s shoe phone or Inspector Gadget’s wrist watch. It was a time when parents were more relaxed about keeping an eye on their children.

Now that we have the convenience of technology we have the dilemma of when to introduce them to it as well as the struggle to keep up with the terrifyingly fast advancements ourselves.

 So when is it the right time to allow your offspring to connect? Buy them their own phone? Cheap phone, or the one with all the bells and whistles and access to apps and never-ending chatter?

Leonie Smith, a cyber safety educator, suggests age is not a deciding factor, making the decision a whole lot trickier for parents. “It’s based on what your child’s needs are”.

Keeping in touch when they’re out, co-ordinating pick ups, and in an emergency, are all valid reasons for their first phone. If your intention is a responsibility you grant your children rather than a new gadget/toy, the road ahead may be a little less fraught with the pitfalls of whopping bills with game app purchases or downloading free messaging or dating services that can put them at risk.

“Children are more exploratory and most parents I know have their heads in the sand when it comes to social media and smart phones”, she explains.

So a few tips to avoid issues ahead:-
  • Start off with a cheap flip phone you can limit the numbers dialled in and out
  • Find a cheap phone plan
  • Set clear rules about usage
  • Communicate with other parents about their experiences and opinions
  • Be a realistic role model – if your phone is glued to your face or fingers racing across the screen incessantly, don’t expect your children to behave differently.

Like most things when it concerns your mini-me’s, learn what they’re up to and keep the lines of communication open with “face time” because hanging out with your children is still what matters most.


Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Last week I had one of those “times have really changed” moments when ten year old Tommy asked if he could google some important information.

Intrigued, I asked him to explain what was SO important that he could only find on google.

There’s a boy in my class who likes a girl in my class and he wants to find out how to get her to like him. He can’t google at home because his mum will find out so he asked me”.

Restraining bewilderment, suppressing all out laughter, and with the composure of my inner professional Nanny V, I had to enquire why a ten year old would imagine that google could provide more helpful information than his mum, his tutor, or me, females who know precisely what a girl likes and wants from a boy.

Tommy: “Oh Nanny V, you are SO old fashioned. Google knows everything”.
Me: “Oh Tommy, you have SO much to learn about life that google and computers could never teach you”.
Tommy: “Like what?
Me: “Where do I start?

Where DO I start???

So we discussed a couple of subjects like friendship and the concept of graciousness in winning and defeat when he plays football (also cuddles and how they make you feel good even when you are a ten year old boy who would never publicly admit to such behaviour!), so he could relate and understand, and so he could appreciate that life lessons come from experience and not technology.

I am not sure our discussion gelled. Actually, I wasn’t sure I gave him the correct information, so I googled “how to get a girl to like you” and I can report with great relief, my advice was spot on.

Life lesson #1, Nanny V is always right. #2, some old fashioned ways still apply today (and hopefully never change).

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