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Coming up in 2017

Behind the scenes at Parent Zone we have a team of expert writers commissioning, creating and curating the best available information on digital resilience and online safety. Our work with the UK Council on Child Internet Safety and ties with companies at the cutting edge of digital technologies help to make sure that we know what’s coming and understand the issues properly. So what are we working on for this year and what can you expect from our content?

First of all we’ll be making good on our commitment to translate the theory of digital resilience into practice. For content, that means looking at the three pillars of digital resilience. Starting with personal skills and assets. We’ll be exploring the worrying question of whether children are developing an unhealthy obsession with their own image and how social anxiety seems to have replaced anti social behaviour.  Our partnership with the Dove Self Esteem team means we’ll be able to provide fantastic resources to run self-esteem work in your schools and we’ll also be looking at ways to foster confidence and develop critical thinking.

We’ll also be considering safe spaces. How can we help young people and parents to use the tools that are available and to keep up with the latest risks and less safe spaces? That means guides to new apps and services, health warnings when apps like Snatch hit the Apple store and encouraging families to say  ‘Instead’ rather than ‘No’. We’re going to be helping parents to find safer alternatives to less safe places. Popjam instead of Instagram and YouTube for Kids instead of YouTube.

Finally we’ll address the question of recovery. How can we help young people to recover when things go wrong? We’re working on the next edition of Digital Parenting magazine and we’ll be including those important reporting addresses but what else can we do to help a young person whose online life has come off the tracks? Helping parents to respond well when a child comes to them and explaining the best way to support a child through a difficult patch is going to be part of the picture but helping young people to empathise with each other is equally important.

We’ll be creating a magazine, films, parent presentations and running Parent Info the newsfeed service for schools. We’ll also be delivering lesson plans, pupil programmes, senior leadership briefings, storybooks and online training. Crucially we’ll be responding to new issues and challenges. Whether it’s the dark web or sexploitation that emerges as a new issue for this year we’ll be ready as we always are to respond with timely resources.