Teens Tips with Alicia Drummond teen-tips-so-every-child-can-thrive info@teentips.co.uk 01273890635

Resources
for schools & parents

Online Grooming & Radicalisation [how to spot the signs and what to do]

Right now our children and teenagers are socialising remotely which is wonderful because it means they are able to stay in contact with their friends and there is almost limitless entertainment.  As parents juggle work, home and home schooling it is likely that young people will have increased amounts of screen time and, what they are doing online, maybe less closely scrutinised.

This is all to be expected and for the vast majority will not be problematic but, with more young people online, those who would seek to influence, radicalise or groom them via social media and gaming will be busy. 

These people are clever, they will contact children via popular sites and forums, strike up a “friendship” and then encourage their victims to move the chat into a private space.  The most used platforms for internet subcultures are the image boards (2chan; 4chan, 8chan and Wizardchan) where users can post pictures, films and comments.  These sites allow users to post anonymously and they take a lax approach to moderating content making them attractive for those who wish to post graphic and extreme content.

When young people end up on these sites they can be exposed to a variety of cultures some of which revel in extreme racism, misogyny and violence.  When hate and violence become normalised we become desensitised which is particularly pernicious for young people who are trying to find their identity and sense of belonging.

As a parent how on earth would you know if your child was in danger?  It can be difficult, after all by mid adolescence the chances are that you won’t be looking over their shoulder to see what they are up to online and they will be pretty adept at hiding their history if they are looking at content they know you wouldn’t be ok with.  I think it is always a good idea to ask them what they are up to online because it shows you are interested, that you care about them and this matters because they are less likely to look for a sense of belonging online if they already have one offline.  This is not to say that our involvement offers complete protection.  Teenagers are programmed to seek novelty and excitement without the ability to weigh up outcome, all of which makes them vulnerable.

Be interested and be observant.  Are they becoming more secretive about their computer use? Is there a frantic scrabble to change or close screens when you enter a room? Are they becoming more withdrawn, using language you might not expect them to know or expressing new and concerning opinions? For many young people the initial excitement of discovering new friends and ideas is quickly replaced by fear as they feel trapped and coerced.  I think we need to let them know that we are always there for them; that if they come across content which they find upsetting or if they feel they are being controlled we will help them.  They need to know that we will not remove their devices but will work with them to sort any problems out and that whatever has happened they can talk to us.

Below are links to support services if you are concerned your child has been groomed or exploited online.

Contact True Vision to report hate crime – this is a service created by the police.

Contact CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) to report online sexual exploitation or abuse.

Contact GOV UK to report online activity promoting terrorism

 

To support your child through adolescence and help your family during this very challenging time, you may like to know that we are delivering Live Online Talks for parents and teens – including Parenting During Isolation, First Aid For Your Child’s Mind, Teens & Screens, Developing Resilience in Children & Teenagers and How to Manage Worry, Stress & Anxiety.

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Other resources you might be interested in:

How To Talk To Your Child About Periods

Saskia Boujo, a relationship and sex educator and author of the book ‘This Period In My Life’ has written a blog on how to talk to your child about periods. Saskia uses ungendered language to encourage young people to value and understand their periods. This is an absolute must if your child is about to start their period, or you just want a little more guidance on how to approach the topic with them.

In conversation with Emma-Jane Taylor On Teens & Mental Health

Alicia went onto the Emma-Jane Show’s podcast to discuss all things teens and mental health. This is a very open and honest conversation about recovery, resilience and Alicia’s journey to where she is today. 

How To Keep Your Teenager Entertained During The Summer Holidays

The summer holidays have arrived and you might already be struggling to come up with ways to keep your child entertained and off screens. We have put together a few ideas of fun activities for you to do as a family, or alternatively for your teen to do with their friends.

Summer Reading For Children & Teens

We have compiled a list of bestselling books for your children and teens to dive into over the summer holidays!

Gaming – Top Tips for Safe Gaming

Here are our top three tips for keeping your teens safe while they game.

Adolescent Mental Health from a Mum’s Perspective

This blog from Olivia Barry talks about what it is like to parent a child with a mental illness.

Family Meals

In this blog, we consider the advantages of eating together as a family – something we have all apparently been managing to do more often since lockdown.

Talking About Race And Ethnicity With Children & Teens

Following the horrific death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, we have been asked for advice on how to talk to children and teenagers about racism. 

What To Do About Bullying

Being bullied can be devastating but why do people bully others and who gets bullied?  Alicia looks at bullying from all angles and gives you strategies to help if your child is either being bullied or bullying.

Webinars for Teachers, Parents & Children

In the light of Coronavirus, we are hosting a series of Live Online Talks for pupils, parents & school staff, giving specific advice to help you through what may be a very challenging few weeks.

Facebook Live Coffee & Questions with Alicia

Join Alicia, Wednesdays at 11am for her Facebook Live Coffee & Questions and ask her your burning parenting questions.

Is This Grief I Am Feeling? [How To Support Your Child’s Mental Health During Lockdown]

We are three weeks into isolation and the cracks are showing. Is this grief we are feeling? Alicia’s latest blog explores this and gives advice on how to support your child.

Teen Tips April 2020 Newsletter [Parenting Tips for Teenage Mental Health During Lockdown]

We’re offering so much support to families tailored to the current challenges that we are all facing – have a read of our April newsletter for all the details.

Free Listening Sessions For Teens In Particular Need Of Support

We are working with some wonderful therapists across the country and some are offering two free, half hour emergency sessions to teenagers who might be particularly struggling.

School’s Out

Helping stressed parents through the school shutdown due to Coronavirus.

How To Talk To Your Child About Coronavirus

A pandemic can be a scary time for parents and children alike. So here are some pointers for keeping young people calm and holding a panic-free conversation about Coronavirus.

March 2020 Newsletter

Have a read of our March 2020 newsletter, with insights, tips and advice.

Canford and Port Regis Schools Join Our Online Programme

A large focus of our work is with schools, helping staff support the wellbeing of children so we are delighted to welcome these two new schools.

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