With Cadel Evans becoming the first Australian to win the Tour de France and the oldest post-war winner, it has meant many friends and colleagues are now catching up on the sleep they lost watching each stage.
As Cadel fever grips the country, I’ve heard radio presenters suggest a resurgence in young bike riders across the nation is imminent jolting me to remember my first bike experience. The bike was blue and red. I thought it was the coolest thing when Santa left it and couldn’t wait to ride. The problem was I didn’t know how.
I put on my safety gear listened to my parents’ advice and gave it a go. Dad ran beside me until I could pedal myself. I’m sure my parents held their breath while I pedalled proudly unassisted down the footpath, especially when I crashed into a troublesome tree! They gave me some more words of wisdom and I kept trying until one-day it all clicked.
Telstra’s new Cyber-safety research makes me think of the learning to ride experience. The research revealed that a third of parents believe their lack of technological knowledge is getting in the way of keeping their kids safe online. Teaching kids to ride a bike is something parents feel confident doing; keeping kids safe online is not.
There is no doubt that rapidly evolving technology and the jargon that accompanies it is hard to keep up with – but how much do you really have to know to keep kids safe? Was it really my parents’ cycling knowledge that got us through the first few wobbly rides? If Cadel was teaching me, would I have learned faster?
Of course not – and it’s the same online. Parents don’t need to be tech experts. They can approach their child’s development in the online world as they would in the offline world. It is their wisdom and experience that their children need. The technical stuff can be understood via brochures, online channels or even from their kids.
As technology becomes more convergent with other parts of life, it’s important that young people know and understand that it’s a combination of social and technical skills that will enable them to be safe online and have a positive experience.
Telstra’s tips for parents to help protect your kids in the online world:
I’d be really keen to hear how you’ve taught your kids things in either the offline or online world? What tips have you picked up along the way?
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