Keeping Kids Safe Online this Summer!

Young girl sitting at home on a settee and using a child’s tablet touch screen computer

School is officially out for summer in just a few days! Here’s hoping that long sunny days lie ahead. No matter what you can be sure that technology will play a part in everyone’s summer. So, here are some tips for what you can do to ensure that your child stays safe over the summer holidays, while they are spending some time online.

Here at Zeeko we regularly say that communication is key! There genuinely is no substitute for face to face open communication with your child when it comes to many elements of parenting but none more so than internet safety. It is a good idea to have a conversation as early as possible in the summer holidays with your child about you and your child’s expectations about the use of technology. Children can assume that now that they are finished school, that they can spend their increased free time online. This expectation will not always be matched by their parent! Negotiation will be central to what is agreed between you and your child about how the use of technology will be managed over the summer months. The following areas may be of help to you in supporting your child to stay safe online and achieving that all elusive balance.

Screentime: Remind your child of the importance of having a balance when it comes to the amount of time that they are spending online. At Zeeko we have pioneered the 5:1 Rule when it comes to screentime. This essentially means that for every hour that is spent on screens this should be balanced with 5 hours of ‘real world’ activities, preferably activities that involve some physical exercise. Also, it’s important that your child, switches off any screen at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light omitted by screens can affect the levels of melatonin in the brain which can affect things like concentration the following day. The temptation is always there, particularly during the holidays, to spend an increased amount of time on screens.

The Stop Block Tell Rule: It can be genuinely distressing for young children in particular, to encounter something age inappropriate or witness others being treated badly when they are online. Talk to your child about the importance of using the Stop, Block, Tell Rule if they do encounter something that upsets them. Stop what they are doing, block the person and/or conversation that has upset them, and finally tell a trusted adult what they have experienced. Talking about what has upset them will definitely make it less frightening. Let your child know that it is ok for them to talk about what they are experiencing when they are online. Having regular open conversations as a family about the internet is a great foundation for your child to learn that the digital world can be a great experience, but that they need to remember to stay safe.

Online Etiquette: Often the excitement of messaging, gaming, video and photo sharing can lead to children of a range of ages, not being as cautious as they would usually be when they are offline. Talk with your child about the importance of treating people the same when they are online as they would when they are not. Also remind them of the T-Shirt Rule, which is a great way of reinforcing the fact that what is shared online cannot be easily deleted or removed – don’t post anything that you wouldn’t be happy to wear on the front of a t-shirt! This certainly makes children and adults think twice about what they post online.

As we know from our work with primary and secondary schools throughout the year, the internet is a fantastic resource, but children do need support and guidance to learn how to safely navigate the online world, regardless of the time of year! Our team at Zeeko wish you all a fun filled and safe summer both on and offline!

Courtesy of Zeeko

Only 27 sleeps! – See you on Saturday #ChristmasFair

The School’s Christmas Fair is this Saturday – 2nd December from 1.30pm.

Toys, books, gifts, bottles etc can be left in the schools throughout this week.

Cakes, buns and anything consumable, can be left in the schools all day Friday and Saturday morning. This is a wonderful school and community event and there is something for everyone at it.

Toys and Santa’s grotto will be at the boy’s school.

Gifts, coffee shop, sweet shop, wheel of fortune, handmade crafts, flowers and plants will be in the girl’s school.

This is an event NOT to be missed….every year it keeps getting better and better!

Keep an eye on our page Friday evening for a few sneak peek photos of what will be for sale updates!!!

The Easter Art Competition with Co-Sponsor Duke Art Gallery

The JPA would like to sincerely thank the Duke Art Gallery along with Pamela and Tom Byrne for their generous donation and of course their time.

And considering Gabriella did so well in the Google Doodle competition appreciation and skills associated with the arts are incredibly important, in today’s world. Many thanks for all the teachers and principles that put the effort in – especially our own – hardest working… Easter bunny… ! All art is still in the parish hall for viewing. Have a lovely break everyone.

Eating for Education reminder

Hi Folks – remember this when you’re all sick of Turkey and Ham !!

Just a quick reminder ! And in response to our friends in http://masala.ie – Lots of you are forgetting to mention Johnstown BNS OR GNS when ordering over the phone or when you call in…. please remember that a percentage of your order goes back to the Schools through the JPA UNTIL THE END OF DECEMBER…

Simples ! If it’s a credit card order on their website, use the promo code; JPAXMAS

If you order over the phone or call in, just mention the Johnstown or the JPA… that’s it ! Please help us support local businesses supporting local schools ! #EattoEducate 🙂

So – from all at the JPA – Thank you so much to all the parents and businesses for your support – have a peaceful, happy and healthy Christmas. From all at the JPA Committee.