The times they are a-changing. A new survey by Leger on behalf of Primus Telecommunications shows that parents are more concerned about cyberbullying (48 per cent) than they are about teen pregnancy (44 per cent), drug use (40 per cent) or alcohol use (38 per cent).
To that end, Primus is joining forces with PREVNet, the country’s leading authority on bullying prevention, to develop an e-learning program designed for Canadian parents and adults to use with children and youth. The program is scheduled to launch later this year and will be the first interactive resource of its kind.
Though still in the early stages of development, the program will include resources for adult and child conversations, activities to be completed together, videos to encourage positive role modeling as well as built-in evaluation features to measure the effectiveness of the program. Prior to a national roll out later this year, Primus and PREVNet are searching for a youth-focussed organization in the Greater Toronto Area with whom to pilot the program. To learn more about the program visit primus.ca/elearning
“Our research clearly shows that online safety has become a top concern for parents across the country and our aim, as one of Canada’s leading ISPs, is to help them understand how to deal with it – even before it becomes a problem,” says Brad Fisher, Primus executive and online safety advocate. “By partnering with PREVNet, we can provide parents and adults working with youth a much-needed resource so they can turn their concerns into positive action. This program will arm them with the knowledge, skills, support and confidence they need to tackle this important issue and, most importantly, protect their kids.”
“The rate of digital interactions will only increase as technology continues to evolve,” says Dr. Wendy Craig, Scientific Co-Director, PREVNet. “The challenge we all face as parents and adults working with youth – and this is something we hear consistently from youth – is that kids don’t think their parents can help or protect them when it comes to cyberbullying. They don’t see their parents as being savvy or as connected online, which is a problem that needs to be addressed and fixed.”
Dr. Craig believes the e-learning program will give parents and adults the tools, resources, and strategies they need to spot the warning signs, initiate positive dialogue between family members and ultimately help children safely navigate the digital world.
The study, titled Protecting Canadian Families Online, revealed some other interesting data: