Facebook-funded ‘digital safety’ event offers help for parents navigating the internet age

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COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah — A grant from Facebook set the stage for a hot parenting topic, keeping kids safe online. Oakdale Elementary hosted a parents night Tuesday, with nationally recognized speakers to help parents navigate the digital world.

“Mentoring, not monitoring is much more helpful for our children. Talk with your kids. Watch them. Watch them play and play with them. Be a little playful,” said Anne Collier, Executive Director of the Net Safety Collaborative.

Collier and others, encouraged parents to join their kids in how they use technology. Ask questions. Play the games they choose. And don’t feel like the sky is falling.

“There really is very little impact of digital technology use on kids mental health,” said Collier.

The claim comes from one of the broadest scientific studies of the impact screen time is having on young people. Oxford University researchers looked at results from over 350,000 young people and found the correlations between technology use and serious mental health issues is less than one percent. You can read more of that study here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-018-0506-1

“It’s really not a matter of if but when they will see something uncomfortable online,” said Kaati Tarr a clinical social worker and a member of the Oakdale Elementary PTA.

She encourages parents to teach their kids to talk about those uncomfortable things they see online. Giving parents a chance to address the issues in an open format.

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