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Safer, Healthier, More Resilient Children, Families and Communities
Safer, Healthier, More Resilient Children, Families and Communities

Online Safety

Parenting in an Online World

We like to assist you as children and parents with knowledge, tips and resources on Online Safety and offer support around Parenting in the Digital Age

 

This resource page was developed alongside a training manual called “The Digital Dance", the first curriculum of its kind in Namibia. It was developed by UNICEF Namibia and aims at contributing to the country’s effort to strengthen child protection systems and help keep children safe online.

Key Aspects for Online Safety:

  • Be aware and know the risks and potential dangers;
  • Build resilience and confidence within young children;
  • Establish trust and communication with you child;
  • Know what incidents to report and where to go to!
…in addition, parents should know that early exposure to technology does not make kids smarter, it often hinders their full development and may contribute to health issues and behavioral problems later in life.
Lastly, there is a strong link between caring offline parenting and online safety: The stronger the trust and the better an open communication between parents and children, the safer the child!

Social Media has Benefits...

Helps connect, communicate, learn, explore and find opportunities, knowledge, education, inspiration, entertainment, nurturing artistic expressions and developing global awareness;

...but also Risks & Dangers

Inappropriate content, unwanted contact and pictures, cyber-bullying, negative ideological influences, sexual exploitation and predators, sex trafficking etc.

Problems, Challenges & Possible Solutions

Parents often feel lost and helpless when it comes to dealing with the complexities of managing their children’s exposure to technology. Nothing about their own experience growing up has prepared them for navigating this unchartered territory.
Often, they know enough about technology to understand that there are risks and dangers, but not enough to know how to protect their children.

Tips for Digital Parenting!   &   Other Helpful Resources

Children themselves, are not fully aware of the various dangers or how to identify, prevent and mitigate against them. When children have no reliable support system to turn to, and if there is more fear than trust of their own parents, children are not likely to open up about potential or actual harm they are experiencing. 
This harm can come from exposure to inappropriate sexual or violent content, cyber-bullying, harassment, blackmail, sextortion, grooming, child exploitation and abuse, including online child sexual exploitation.
Electronic devices are sometimes seen by stressed and exhausted parents as a quick fix to keep children occupied and quiet. Alongside this, the myth also exists that early exposure to technology makes children learn faster.  Often, the opposite is true.
Spending too much time too early on electronic devices or online, reduces the amount of real-life interactions which are developmentally integral to building relationships and developing crucial interpersonal skills, and it also renders children more vulnerable to various forms of possible future online addictions.
Namibia’s National Training Resource Kit on Gender-Based Violence also contains a helpful list of Support Services on pages 111 – 116.
Whenever you see images or videos of suspected child sexual abuse, you can and should report this to us immediately.
This is the right thing to do!

Your report could lead to the rescue of a young victim from further abuse.

The Digital Dance - Handout: A Booklet for Parents