Parents Guide To Parental Control

Goal: “I want to be able to control how much time my kids spend online — without taking their devices away — and make sure they don’t have access to stuff they’re not ready for.”

According to Common Sense Media here is what we advise parents to do when they seek to manage their children’s content and control screen time.

What to look for. The ability to pause the internet set timers, lock individual devices, and block/filter specific types of content. You might be able to get away with the parental control features already built into your device’s operating system or available in a free app.

Before you begin. Blocking content probably won’t cause too much conflict (if they can’t see it, they’ll eventually forget it). And preventing access to stuff that’s inappropriate is non-negotiable. Turning off the internet without warning, however, is what exasperated parents refer to as “the nuclear option.” Call a family meeting and talk about your goals, expectations, concerns, and overall approach as a family.
Under what circumstances will you pause the internet? Create Tech/Device-free zones like:

  •  Dinner time
  • Toilet
  • Bedrooms
  • Classroom

    Develop a system so that your children understand the rules and expectations.

Troubleshooting. Even though they know the limits, children will ask for “just one more minute.” Try to be consistent. Maybe one more minute is OK, but after five it’s time. If your kid claims that they need the internet to finish their homework, tell them the internet can stay on if they’re not multitasking (i.e. chatting, texting, playing Fortnite, or scrolling on social media), and keep an eye on them. Determine in advance how sympathetic you’re going to be when they can’t get their homework done by a certain time. They’ll need to learn to work within their limits, and if they can’t, you’ll need to intervene to get them on track. As for filtering and blocking content, be aware that kids can get around almost anything and content blockers are not foolproof.

Path to self-regulation. Once you’ve established device-free times and zones, and it seems like you’ve all fallen into the habit, consider going a few days without using the parental control and talk about how you did. Check-in with your family: How’s it going?  Are the goals the same?  What are the challenges and how can you problem-solve?

GOAL: “In addition to setting time limits, I want to get details about what my child is doing online —  like what apps they’re using and what sites they’re visiting — and I want to know who my child is texting with/talking to.”

What to look for. The ability to set time limits, block and filter content, receive reports about your children’s online activity (what sites they’ve visited and how long they’ve spent on them), and a call history/contact list. Products like unGlue and Habyts can set time limits, show you the apps and sites your kids are using, and build in elements meant to help form solid habits.

Before you begin. If you’re just trying to prevent trouble before it starts, let your kids know what your biggest concerns are and why. It’s important for them to know that you’re not trying to spy on them or catch them doing something wrong but to guide and support them. It’s also important to listen and get some buy-in since it helps avoid conflict later. If you’re considering this type of tool because there’s been a breach of trust or some other shenanigans, you can frame it as a means to get back on track.

Troubleshooting. Decide what you’re going to do with all of the information you gather. Are there very specific concerns you can focus on (for example, too much time watching YouTube and not enough time doing homework)? Also, if you’re worried about specific people your kid is contacting or particular content they’re accessing, know that they could find a way to do an end-run around your controls by using someone else’s phone or hacking the controls. A positive relationship with your kid is a key ingredient to them staying open and honest, so find a way to work online monitoring into that relationship.

Path to self-regulation. Find ways to scale things back as you go, letting your kids know that you’re moving from, say once-a-day checks to twice-a-week, etc. Keep talking about the habits you want them to build and how they can be safe online.

GOAL: “I want to see as much as I can, including social media posts, pictures, email, and texts.”

What to look for. The ability to track and monitor social media content and messages — not just the time spent on Instagram or Snapchat. Avoid programs that require you to “jailbreak” the device. Programs like TeenSafe, Social Judo, and MamaBear let you read your teen’s social media posts, track their phone calls, and even see how fast they’re driving.

Before you begin. There’s some evidence to suggest that getting this far into your kids’ business can damage your relationship. But if you feel it’s necessary to see everything they’re saying and doing, perhaps because of previous transgressions, brushes with cyberbullying, or you’re just protective and concerned, consider being open and honest about the fact that you’re monitoring. Talk about why you feel it’s necessary, what you’re looking for, and what privacy you are willing to give them (because teenagers need some privacy as a part of their development). Try not to set up a game of cat-and-mouse (where you shut down one thing only to have your kid find a way around it). Your kid will play it — and win. If you’re monitoring the phone or device because you’re concerned that your kid is at risk, plan ahead for how you’ll handle sensitive information you gather.

Troubleshooting. You know that line from Jurassic Park, “Life finds away”? The same is true of kids. While you’re monitoring one Instagram account, your kid may already have set up another. When kids feel like you’re spying on them, they often try to be more secretive. Make sure that they know you’re not trying to catch them doing something wrong or set them up for failure. Share your worries and your desire for their ultimate safe and responsible online behavior. Be clear about what’s OK and what’s out-of-bounds.

Path to self-regulation. Let them know what they need to do to end the monitoring. Is it when they buy their own phone? Get to a certain age? Do they need to prove something or earn trust? Define what it will take for them to have a bit more privacy and let them know you’ll still need to check-in and want to stay involved in their online lives.

It is import for us parents to be vigilant and engage each situation with calmness and composure, ensure

 

 

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Technology and the Holiday Season

The Holiday Season is a time of cheer and togetherness and a time we get to just unwind. 

How about we also unwind from our gadgets and social media platforms? How about we connect with real humans, (relatives) and connect? 

Although we can use technology to create memories, I request that you indulge me for a minute or so and let us see this through, will you?

How can we balance our digital use this holiday? Do you remember VHS players and cassettes? Oh JVC was so popular, let me jog your memory. 

How about we take all content on the cassettes and convert them to digital media? A fabulous idea, right? Then we can spend time watching how time changed, 3 or 4 generations at a go. You can then add your recent and current family moments to this and keep them on replay during the holiday. It sounds like a fun thing looking at the evolution of fashion and sharing stories and moments that go back in time. 

How about remodeling some of the electronics we used when we were young? 

I found this at my mum’s place. 

Here is what grandparents should do in Family Gatherings. 

Throwback the games we played back then, “ Kati” make a ball from old torn or worn or socks, “ Blada” Let’s look for tube tyres make the blada, let see how flexible we are, you can record this for keeps, “Shake” Do you remember this game, oh my word – Textbook center has great chalk or you can use charcoal ( Improvise ) “ Bano” Yes I recently was told they are called marbles Ha ha ha – Dig up a hole and spoil your manicure. “ Brikicho” Oh yes hide and seek and probably “Statue “ I was told it is called Grandmother footsteps I know, we learn every day – you’re welcome. 

How else can we balance screen time? We can begin creating new cultures – Activities that will entail zero or very little tech assistance.

There is this amazing “ Heads Up” Game where you can involve other people old or young. It is a great way of seeing how creative we are at having fun as a family.

Instead of buying electronic gifts this Christmas, buy board games and use them as a family and invite other friends and families to join – this is a way people get to bond.

If and when you do use your gadgets to save these memories, before you post them on ANY social media platforms, please ask for consent from children and their parents, (Yes, children have a right to consent over their footprint.) It also shows respect, high sense of Security and Privacy plus Digital Empathy 

Let us avoid addiction and misunderstandings by practicing the following:

  1. Create Tech-Free Zones ( These are designated areas where people interact WITHOUT their digital devices.) No TV as well. To do this, have a basket where people can put on their phones and tablets. 
  2. Have a discussion on expectations with those around you – This is on taking photos and videos and sharing them online. Make sure the people around you ask for Consent.
  3. Limit video games, (that include phone games)
  4. Ask the adults around NOT to share their phones with minors, (children)
    “ Adult Phones are NOT Sanitized for Children. PERIOD.”
  5. Prescreen any online content together with your children. However, empower your children to practice this even on their own from “www.commonsensemedia.org” Explain the “ Age”, “ Violence”, “ Vulgarity”, “Innuendo”, “ Sexuality”, “ Educational Value” ETC and align this with Family Values. 
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The Updated YouTube Terms of Service

On the 10th of December 2019, the terms of Service on YouTube will be updated.  

On the Policy, Safety, and Copyright- Sensitive content:

  • Nudity and sexual content PolicyExplicit content means sexually gratifying ( like pornography) is not allowed on Youtube. Videos containing fetish content will be removed or age-restricted. In most cases, violent, graphic or humiliating fetishes are not allowed. 

What This means for you.

Don’t post content that has the following:

  • Description of genitals, breasts or buttocks ( clothed or unclothed ) for the purpose of sexual gratification.
  • Pornography depicting sexual acts, genitals, or fetishes for the purpose of sexual gratification 


Age-restricted content 

This applies to videos, video description, comments, live stream, and other youtube product or feature 

Educational Content 

Nudity is allowed when the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific or artistic and isn’t gratious. 

What happens when content violates this policy?

If the content violates this policy, it will be removed and an email notification sent. You will get a warning with no penalty if it is the first time. However, after 3 strikes your channel will be terminated. 

More information 

  • Custom thumbnails Policy  

Custom thumbnails that violate our Community Guidelines are not allowed on YouTube.

If you see thumbnails that violate this policy, please report them. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you have found multiple videos, comments, or a user’s entire channel that you wish to report, please visit our reporting tool, where you will be able to submit a more detailed complaint.

What this means for you

Don’t post a thumbnail on YouTube that fits any of the descriptions noted below.

  • Thumbnails that include pornographic images
  • Violent imagery intended to shock disgust
  • Thumbnails misleading viewers into thinking they’re about to view something that’s not in the video

Please note this is not a complete list.

Sometimes, a thumbnail may not be appropriate for all audiences, but doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines. When that happens, we’ll remove the thumbnail, but we won’t issue a strike on your channel. We’ll let you know we removed it and you’ll be able to upload another thumbnail.

Here’s what we consider when we remove these kinds of thumbnails:

  • Whether breasts, buttocks or genitals (clothed or unclothed) are the focal point of the thumbnail
  • Whether the subject is depicted in a pose or clothing that is intended to sexually arouse the viewer
  • Whether violent or gory imagery is the focal point of the thumbnail
  • Whether the title, description, tags, or other data indicate an intent to shock or disgust viewers.

    • Child Safety on YouTube
      On August 21, YouTube expanded the child safety policies to better protect the  family experience on YouTube. Content that targets young minors and families but contains sexual themes, violence, obscene, or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences, is not allowed on YouTube.

      Learn More Here

      What it means – Don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions below.
      1. Sexualization of minors
      2. Harmful or dangerous acts involving minors
      3. Infliction of emotional distress on minors:
      4. Misleading family content
      5. Cyberbullying and harassment involving minors: 

 

Content that promotes self-harm or is intended to shock or disgust users is not allowed on YouTube. We do allow users to post content discussing their experiences with depression, self-harm, or other mental health issues.

If you’re posting content

YouTube users should not be afraid to speak openly about the topics of mental health or self-harm. But please don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions noted below.

  • Promoting or glorifying suicide
  • Providing instructions on how to self-harm or die by suicide
  • Graphic images of self-harm posted to shock or disgust viewers

This policy applies to videos, video descriptions

To learn more, explore the link below 

 

Who May Use the Service?

This section sets out certain requirements for use of the Service and defines categories of users. Key updates:

  • Age Requirements. We have stated the specific age requirements for your country, reflecting our Google wide policies, and included a notice that, if you are a minor in your country, you must always have your parent or guardian’s permission before using the Service.

 

Age requirements on Google Accounts

13 is the minimum age to manage your own Google Account.

Getting started with Family Link

You can use the Family Link App to create a Google Account for your child under 13 (or the applicable age in your country). You can also use Family Link to add supervision to your child’s existing Google Account.

Note: Family Link availability may be limited in some countries

Service-specific age requirements

Some Google services have specific age requirements. Here are a few examples:

  • YouTube: When a YouTube video has been age-restricted, a warning screen is displayed and only users who are 18 or older can watch it. Learn more about age-restricted videos.
  • Google Payments: Most forms of payment are restricted to users who are 18 or older. For age requirements for Play gift card redemption, check your country’s terms of service.
  • AdSense: 18+
  • Google Ads: 18+

Account Suspension and Termination

This section explains how you and YouTube may terminate this relationship. Key updates:

  • Terminations. Our Terms now include more details about when we might need to terminate our Agreement with bad actors. We provide a greater commitment to give notice when we take such action and what you can do to appeal if you think we’ve got it wrong. We’ve also added instructions for you if you decide you no longer want to use the Service.

 

Youtube is an amazing tool that is one of the common social media platforms our children spend time with. 

 

Take time to go through the details of the updates. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/t/terms?preview=20191210&chromeless=1

 

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Online Games For Your Children: Reviewing Roblox

What is Roblox?

Roblox is an online gaming platform where you can play games designed by other users and create and share your own games using Roblox’s proprietary game-developing tool. Once you sign up, you can play an infinite number of games, build and share creations, and chat with other users — all for free. If your kids are serious about Roblox, though, they’ll need Robux, and they’ll probably want to subscribe to the Builders Club, which provides additional features for a membership fee.

How does Roblox work?

Roblox offers two equally compelling modes: playing games and creating them. After registering, you have unrestricted access to both modes (however, most kids are just there to play). You can choose from a never-ending and continually evolving supply of creative and fun challenges in various categories, from shooters to murder mysteries to sports to fighting games. (Frustratingly, you can’t sort games by genre, so finding ones you like is often a process of trial and error.)

Or you can download Roblox Studio and work on building your own games. Gameplay can be uneven, but good creators tend to rise to the top of the feed. Some amateur developers use Roblox as a kind of portfolio to showcase their work for potential employers. For kids who are interested in creating their own games, Roblox offers a lot of instructions, a wiki, and a helpful player community. Creators can monetize their games to earn revenue, both by charging people to play their games and by offering pay-as-you-go in-game purchases — usually needed to get ahead in the game.

What age is Roblox for?

Roblox doesn’t specify a minimum age. Users of any age can create and join groups, chat, and interact with others. The company’s commitment to the theory of “constructivism,” which promotes the educational benefits of curiosity, designing, and building, is — in theory — appropriate for anyone who can navigate through a game. In practice, though, such an open approach can pose some risks to kids, especially younger ones. And though Roblox has some safety precautions in place, it remains a target of people with less-than-good intentions. Still, because of the learning potential Roblox offers, Common Sense Media rates it OK for users age 10+. We urge parents to help kids protect themselves by enabling privacy settings, teaching them how to recognize the methods that online predators use to win kids’ trust and exploit them, and showing kids how to report bad behavior and block users.

What is Robux?

Robux is Roblox’s in-game currency. You use them for a range of things, including special outfits or animations for your avatar, unique abilities in games, weapons, and other objects. There are different ways to get Robux: You can buy them, get them as part of your subscription, trade for them, or have someone donate some to you. You can also earn them by charging Roblox users to play games you’ve created and by charging for items in your games.

How much does Roblox cost?

Roblox uses a freemium/premium model. You can do a lot on Roblox for free, including play tons of games and use the Roblox Studio game builder. But doing anything beyond the basics, such as animating your avatar or buying and trading weapons, requires Robux. The company offers a range of subscription models in its Builders Club membership program: The “Classic” costs $5.95 per month or $57.95 annually; “Turbo” is $11.95 per month or $85.95 annually; and “Outrageous” is the priciest at $19.95 per month or $129.95 annually. You get a certain number of Robux daily depending on your subscription level.

Are there parental controls for Roblox?

Roblox offers account controls that let parents restrict how kids can interact on the site. You can control whether kids can be contacted, who can message them, and who can chat with them, and do a few other things in the contact settings. To enable these settings, you add your email address to your kid’s account and create a PIN that prevents kids from changing the settings back. The account controls are optional; kids of any age can create an account on Roblox with no parental restrictions. On accounts of kids under 13, Roblox automatically defaults to stricter settings, but a kid could change these if there’s no parent PIN.

Can you make real money from Roblox?

Yes, you can make real money on Roblox. In fact, dedicated creators can earn major bucks. Roblox offers a few different revenue-generating models, including charging others for access to games you create, charging incremental fees within your game, and trading rare items that other players are willing to pay for. To earn money, you have to be over 13, a member of the Outrageous Builders Club and have at least 100,000 Robux in your account. Then you can trade the Robux into the company for real money. 100,000 Robux is worth $350.

Is there chat on Roblox, and is it safe?

Roblox encourages users to interact through its Chat & Party function. All chat is filtered, which means inappropriate language is replaced by hashtag symbols. Chatting in accounts of kids under 13 is more heavily filtered. Roblox also employs human monitors who keep an eye out for inappropriate language and content.

What is “ODers” in Roblox?

“OD” stands for “online dater.” These are folks who join social networks, including gaming sites like Roblox, to find romantic partners. Games on Roblox can even be designed expressly for ODers. Roblox doesn’t explicitly forbid ODers, and ODers aren’t necessarily preying on kids. (They may be solely looking for other ODers.) Roblox’s monitors lookout for inappropriate conversations and content. And its community rules prohibit chat that’s sexual in nature. If your kid wants to use Roblox, it’s critical that you review online safety, such as how to identify potential predators, how to report and block users, and how to spot “grooming” behavior, which predators use to get their victims to trust them.

How do kids find out about Roblox?

If your kid likes Roblox, he or she can find lots of Roblox-related videos on popular gaming platforms such as Twitch, Miniclip, and YouTube Gaming. There are Let’s Plays — where gamers live-stream themselves playing Roblox games — as well as how-tos, news, and analysis by Roblox fanatics. Some of these videos have off-color language, so check out our YouTube guide for tips on keeping kids from overexposure to age-inappropriate content.

Are sexual predators a big problem on Roblox?

There are predators on Roblox, as there are many extremely popular social networks. Predators take advantage of Roblox’s easily accessible chat to target their victims. (All you have to do is sign up for Roblox to start chatting, and the Chat & Party window is featured on nearly every page of the site.) Roblox uses human monitors as well as technology to weed out the bad guys, but they still crop up occasionally. To avoid being contacted by a predator, and to play as safely as possible, kids should enable the most restrictive contact settings (found on the Privacy Settings page). You can prevent anyone from contacting you by turning off chat entirely or limiting interactions to only friends. You should coach your kids to not chat with people they don’t know (unless they can verify they’re actually a friend, or a friend of a friend, in real life) and do not accept private messages (PMs) from anyone they don’t know. Make sure they know never to give away personal information, trust their instincts if someone makes them uncomfortable, and never move a conversation to a different platform (a telltale predator red flag).

As a Common Sense Media School – we share information that helps parents create safe environments for their children around the ecosystem.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-roblox-0#What%20is%20Roblox?

 

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The Power of Enduring Difficult Processes

Endurance is the ability to tolerate an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
Colossians 3:23 New International Version (NIV)

It is such an amazing feeling being on this side of the world ( I mean Kenya ), and alive at this time to see the world shine a spotlight on my motherland, Being celebrated for the right reasons because sometimes we can be a tad extreme. There are so many lessons to learn from Eluid Kipchoge the man who proved to the world that indeed “ No Man Is Limited.” I believe with God All Things Are Possible.

So over the last few months, I have affirmed that I am a First Move Advantage Person ( Go Figure ), and that means I am a trailblazer.

As I was watching in awe the documentaries and videos of Kipchoge over the last few days to the Ineos Challenge, I saw that there was a team of “ endurance experts” ( Google what they do ).

I remember asking, “ An endurance what? “ It was quite an interesting question since I am often on the receiving end of this question. Often when I introduce myself as a Family IT Consultant, people follow the introduction with a “What do you do” question, but that is a blog for another day. haha

I am encouraged that No Human Is Limited because our limits come only from thinking that we cannot accomplish something, and that is often dictated by a fellow human being.

The temptation of putting my alarm off as it blasted my ears this morning at 3:55 am was incredible. I mean, it is raining outside and the bed is so warm, I am sure I can pull 2 more dreams and 2 more hours.

But, I remember – Whatever I feed my mind, feeds my heart and eventually my hand ( I quote this in my training all the time ) and I told myself it is in the endurance that we find what we asked for.
So I get up and do what I do each morning at 4 am – work.

Eliud Kipchoge and his team put in work for years to be able to achieve the great Ineos challenge. It did not happen in their dreams. It happened in the tolerance of an unpleasant and difficult daily routine.
It takes discipline and agility. It requires constant affirmation, and it demands consistency especially when everything is working against.

A good friend told me that opportunities come disguised in overalls ( I associate overalls to work). That means If you are not willing to get dirty or uncomfortable YOU WILL NOT ACHIEVE ANYTHING . You will probably find yourself saying “ boy that was damn luck”

I have made a conscious decision to compete with myself and It is one of the things I learned from Eliud. Competing with other people is a huge distraction and a waste of time ( Aren’t we all paving ways for ourselves? Our visions are totally different)

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the moon. I was not alive to see this but I read and watch the stories written by people who witnessed this. In October 2019 I was alive to see a record being broken and I will encourage my Whiz Kids Africa children to write the stories with me because we were part of history, to change the narrative of consuming stories of Africa told by other people – We are owning our stories and we are telling them and coding them and animating them ( Name it )

I will teach our children the benefit of the “ First Move Advantage” and help them make those moves. Through technology it is possible. My dream is to see African children use technology and the Internet Safely, Effectively and Optimally.

I cannot end without celebrating the following people.

  1. Brigid Kosgei for setting a new Marathon in Chicago – Go Kenya
  2. Tyler Perry – Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry made history by being the very first black person to own a major film studio.
  3. Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia for getting a Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”
  4. Rwanda – For opening a Homemade Smartphone Factory.

There is a lot to celebrate and I have to celebrate myself for not snoozing the alarm. I am awake working on my dream. Arise and shine. Let God be your anchor this and every day.

Evelyn Kasina.

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The Dining Table – Where the Magic happens.

Magic happens at my dining table. The simple act of sharing a meal with my family just brings life to another level. For me, it’s more than just having food. It’s the perfect stage where the art of sharing reveals in all of us at home. It is at the dining table where we share physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Most of all, its where our conversations happen.

In our home, my family has the dining table as one of the tech-free zones. We do not engage with any form of technology here, and this has had a tremendous effect on how we interact with each other. We get the time to have real and meaningful conversations and this is where the magic starts.

I remember a question my 8-year-old son asked us. “ How many people have you made sad this week? “ For a moment, the world stopped! My husband and I gave each other THE look ( you know, that look in the rare moments where couples do a telepathic conversation? Go figure..) as we fumbled to find a response to an otherwise innocent and provocative question.

I told him,
“Ryan, I put a major boundary this week on someone who took advantage of me and it has cost me anguish – there are at least 4 people who are angry with me.”

He looked at me and said,
” Mum, you have to protect your heart and boundaries are important. You say that to us that all the time.”

As you may have noticed in your home, our children listen and they appreciate what tough love is, at least in the long run. It is not easy but they get it.

My daughter then said,
“I sat next to Zoe at lunch and she made me happy. We shared jokes.” ( she is 5 years).

I feel lucky that the art of sharing conversations in my house has grown. We have developed a culture of engaging in deep and real conversations.

We don’t ask the “ normal “ questions – how are you? NOOOOO.

We all endeavor to go deep and connect emotionally. We actually have a label for that. Whenever one of us is feeling dull, sad or annoyed, we say that we want to turn the member feeling blue into feeling yellow. ( Blue is our dull color and yellow is the happy color ) This is why I feel that our dining table is where the magic happens.

To say the least, this culture came through deliberate intent and immense cooperation from all of us. We took the time to learn our individual personalities and love languages.

Additionally, as a mother, I realized that it is one thing to be self-aware and it is another to know how to help the ones around me and teach them how to be involved.

My son demonstrated this so well the other day when his sister ( a sanguine ) threw a hissy fit because “ no one “ at the play area wanted to play with her. He responded to her fit by telling her that, “ Natasha if you want to make friends please become one.” What a profound response, one child to another.

As much as that comment was directed to my daughter, I felt like I needed to hear it more because I have difficult moments when I am NOT in control of situations. My behavior just rubs some people the wrong way.

That is how I learned from my flegmatic son, ( smiles) and he takes that from his dad. He has a calm demeanor, I am the hurricane ( Laughs).

Roses, Thorns, and Buds

Through such avenues, like the dining table, we go to the level of our children and we are not afraid of sharing what we really feel. Once in a while, we do an informal meeting called ( Roses, Thorns, and Buds ). This is a reflective meeting where we sit down and figure out how we are handling situations and people around us.

Roses – What are the good things that have happened in the family that we thank God for? What nice thing did someone do to you that made you happy?

Thorns – ( we brave for a super long list ) we discuss the hurt feelings and uncomfortable incidences

Buds – What can we do differently especially in light of the thorns

On a personal level, this has even helped me understand why my calm husband sometimes keeps quiet when the hurricane in me explodes. It has really helped me in understanding his feelings and point of view.

My children on the other hand… Wow! It just amazes me how they learn to express themselves without causing more damage and find solutions within.

The dining table it is the place where the magic happens. Make the dining table a tech-free zone and let that table be a place where magical conversations happen.

Happy parenting.

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The Mental Health Impact of Social Media on Teens & Kids

In the wake of mental health awareness month, we as Eveminet would like to address the big elephant that is social media and the psychological effects it may have on our children. Most especially teenagers. Teenagers represent the most misunderstood demographic of any society. Caught smack in the middle of adult desires and childhood limitations, they are often rightly or wrongly pegged as “moody” individuals. Not to mention the continuous physical changes one experiences during that age. Being a teenager is hard enough as it is, and with social media in the picture, it’s way more complicated.

When Your Teenager Updates Their Social Media But Doesn't Respond To You

 

Just Google It…

Thanks to search engines such as Google, information is literally at our fingertips. Kids are turning to technology for advice and research and communicating with their parents, teachers, and peers less and less. When they are in need of advice or have an embarrassing problem, all they have to do is type it out on the search and save themselves the exposure and embarrassment of confiding in other people. As much as technology breeds independence, this can lead to teenagers failing to develop proper relationships with people in their eco-systems. They end up not needing to trust people because they think they are fine on their own when in reality nothing can replace real meaningful human connections.

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What’s Your Instagram Handle?

This is probably the most commonly asked question among teenagers today, followed closely by “Are you on SnapChat?”  Teenagers today are spending more time managing their feeds than they are doing their homework. The dynamics of schoolyard politics have now evolved on a global scale. Teenagers today are not only trying to impress and fit in with their classmates but with their online peers too. A teenager’s social media presence can directly affect their day-to-day life in school, determine their popularity and even expose them to cyberbullying quite easily.

Doing It For The Gram…

For teenage girls, social media has been known to lead to poor self-esteem issues, insecurity, eating disorders, suicidal feelings, and jealousy. This can be attributed to the unrealistic beauty standards set by celebrities and social media influencers. Young girls will feel immense pressure to mimic their idols and failure to look a certain way, especially online leads to a variety of negative feelings. For teenage boys, things are almost the same and many young men find themselves being pressured to have sex, smoke weed, have muscles and have a lot of money. The feelings of inadequacy that stem from not being able to be “Insta Famous” or not having been able to “slide into a girl’s DM”  may not manifest the same way as girls. Boys may tend to have “unexplained” violent outbursts, some will give up and sink into depression and others will become obsessed with changing the situation. Gyms are full of young men, working on their abs so that they can upload pictures of their “six packs”  and get as many likes as possible. When in reality, exercise should not be used for vanity but for health and longevity.

 

5 Things To Watch Out For

  1. Fear of leaving their phones unattended
  2. Withdrawn behavior
  3. Increased lack of verbal communication
  4. Irregular weight loss/weight gain
  5. Increased interest in visual appearance/Total disregard for appearance
What the April Holidays Taught Parents

5 Parenting Tips That The April Holidays Taught Us

Let’s Actually Spend Time With Our Kids

Parenting means providing. It’s a fact of nature, society and the economy. Most Kenyan parents today are consumed with financial issues, chasing pay cheques and businesses to support their families. This translates into working long hours, often away from home and leaving children under the care of nannies and probably other family members. Most kids today will see their parents at the dinner table if they are lucky, where they spend one to two hours sharing a meal often in the presence of the television and their mobile phones before their exhausted parents rush off to bed to rest. Weekends and most Sundays have been set aside for “family time” where most modern families go out to eat and share a meal at a place where “the kids can run around and play” while their parents catch up on some much-needed R & R as they wait for their nannies to come back in the evening. Spending 10 minutes each day, one-on-one with your child can make a huge difference in the long run according to Dr. Carol Chakua, Psychotherapist & Parenting Coach.

Mobile Gadgets & TVs Are Not Babysitters

Digital technology has become the life hack of the 21st century. We can do almost anything at the tap of a button thanks to smartphones and the internet. Today, when kids become “too noisy” or “overly playful” most often than not, TV is used to bribe them into submission. Long gone are the days when the sounds of children’s laughter coming from outside can be clearly heard. Many Kenyan estates are quite quiet because the majority of the kids around are busy watching TV or streaming YouTube videos. Safety, mistrust, and change of culture have had a lot of contribution to this as well. Today’s children are no longer seen as the property of the society. Babies get exposed to TVs & phones for entertainment from almost as soon as they can see…with baby targeted content readily available on YouTube. As much as technology can be convenient…regulation is vital

Parents Unplugged

 

Monitoring Screen Time Is A Necessity

Well, monitoring screen time is important because not only is too much screen time harmful to your child’s development, unregulated screen time leaves them open to being affected by harmful content. An article by the Daily Nation mid last month showed that a survey conducted among around 1200 high school students revealed the top 3 favorite activities for teens their age are: watching porn, sex and drinking alcohol. Shocking! Yet, teenage pregnancies are on the rise, with Nairobi County, our modern metropolis and Mombasa and Kisumu producing a large number of cases despite the fact that sexual health education is believed to be easily accessible in modern cities and awareness is believed to be higher. Further research shows that by the age of 10, most children today have been exposed to sexual content and actually rely on search engines like Google for sexual education as opposed to their parents or teachers. Unregulated screen time exposes children to adult content and safety threats.

Social Media Parenting

If you do not follow your kid online or are not internet friends with them, it’s about time you change that. Social Media, especially for the girl child has become a great source of pressure. From boosting insecurities about physical appearances thanks to unrealistic goals set by social influencers to the excessive showboating of material wealth. Kids today are growing up with the desire to live up to their fav online personalities, most of whom are faking their lifestyles for likes. As a parent, creating the balance between monitoring what your son or daughter is up to without infringing their privacy will be your biggest challenge yet.

Digital Parenting Is A Must Have Skill

At Unplugged, we teach Parents a variety of skills and tips on all the above and more. Parents today are being faced with unique challenges that did not exist 10 years ago. From Cyber-bullies to online predators and bizarre cases like the momo challenge, the digital revolution demands that parents rise to the occasion and protect their children in a variety of ways. Empower both you and your child to conquer the digital age by signing up for our programs today.

Whiz Kids

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The Autism Outreach Event

The Eveminet Autism Outreach event scheduled for the 11th of April 2019, at the Haven Cottage School; will purpose to support autistic children by creating awareness about autism and teaching them skills that will enable them to enjoy technology and become Digital Champions and appreciating them.

Our program is important because it is an opportunity for the Whiz Kids to engage in peer training, champion digital citizenship and understand the diversification of life by understanding how to engage with special needs children.

You can partner with us in different ways through financial contribution or donation of items such as :

  • tech gadgets
  • software
  • stationery
  • t-shirts
  • healthy snacks
  • entertainment for the kids

Our program engages industry experts to spend time with the children and encourages them to ask questions that help them understand how digital skills can help them in their day to day lives. We believe that just because they are different, they should not be left out and need digital skills just like any other child.


“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same – with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”

ANONYMOUS

Sign Up for Outreach today!

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World Autism Awareness Day 2019

Each year, World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated on the 2nd of April. Actually, the entire month of April is dedicated to Autism Awareness, and in the United Kingdom, the first week of April is known as Autism Awareness Week. In Kenya, Autism still remains a mystery to many despite the fact that 1 in 59 children is the global average for diagnosis of autism spectre disorder. We at Eveminet will be marking this Autism Awareness month through our Autism Outreach Day, on the 11th of April 2019 at the Haven Cottage School in Kilimani, Nairobi. We will be having a special fun day with the kids as well as training them on basic digital skills with the help of our Whiz Kids.

What is Autism?

Autism can be defined as :


A developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior. Also referred to as Autism Spectre Disorder.

Autism Speaks, Facts & Figures

Autism Awareness In Kenya

In Kenya, many Autistic children have suffered greatly simply because their condition is unrecognized and misunderstood. According to the Autism Society of Kenya, it affects 4 % of the local population. Awareness and acceptance is at least more prevalent in modern areas such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu but in rural areas were local culture still plays a big role, these children are still being hidden away, beaten and even sometimes killed. Children who have the disorder are often quite eccentric and their difference is shunned. This can be mostly attributed to cultural inclinations; many communities traditionally found children with born with disabilities as a sign of evil or being cursed. Children who did not fit the criteria of “normal” even from birth were cast away, killed, hidden or shunned.

Autism Awareness Quote

In 2017, Abigael Brooke started an autism walk aimed at raising awareness locally about the condition. She says that even in modern areas, where parents can afford care and proper help, many still invest heavily in seeking medication to “cure” the condition as opposed to investing in proper rehabilitation and long term care. Driven by her own experiences, having been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome quite young, she seeks to educate people on awareness and acceptance.

Signs & Symptoms

Most children are diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4 or older though conclusive diagnosis can be made as early as the age of 2. Outlined below are some signs and symptoms parents and caregivers can watch out for :

  1. Inappropriate or minimal social interactions
  2. Conversations almost always revolving around self rather than others
  3. “Scripted,” “robotic,” or repetitive speech
  4. Lack of “common sense”
  5. Problems with reading, math, or writing skills
  6. Obsession with complex topics such as patterns or music
  7. Average to below-average nonverbal cognitive abilities, though verbal cognitive abilities are usually average to above-average
  8. Awkward movements
  9. Odd behaviors or mannerisms

How You Can Help

Supporting organisations such as the Autism Society of Kenya which provides assessment, counselling and workshops all over the country. Another way is by understanding what Autism is and helping others understand it too. You can also sign up for our recurring outreach event that seeks to provide special needs children with access to technology.

Join us as we Light It Up Blue on the 2nd of April 2019!

Contact Info

Suite 13, K.P Offices
Jakaya Kikwete Road, Kilimani
Nairobi Kenya

(+254) 020 760 7099
(+254) 733 392 827
info@eveminet.co.ke

Daily: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

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