Have you ever noticed how dramatically a child’s behaviour is altered by a mobile phone in their hand?
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If not you need to take the phone off the child for a day or two and take note of the difference.
Many parents will see an entirely different child.
Mobiles are a problem, not just at home, but also in the playground where they have taken over traditional “play time”.
One local school, Canowindra High School will, later this term, trial a “Fone Free Friday”.
With several hundred students the school will have to enlist the help of parents if the trial is to be a success.
It would be impossible for the school to collect every phone at the start of the day and then return them to the students before buses and parents arrive.
While students say they need their phones to keep in touch, modern smartphones are capable of communicating with everyone - illustrated perfectly when bullying attacks are captured on a phone, posted online and viewed the world over.
''It's a major problem,'' said Professor Judy Drennan, an expert in digital technology.
''Young people can be very impulsive and, while they might regret something they've done online, by then the damage is done.''
Unfortunately the mobile isn’t always used by today’s youth to actually speak with another person.
Most use them to access the internet, text (often in abbreviated language only they can understand), Snapchat and for Facebook.
So few actually use them to broaden their ability to have a conversation.
And unfortunately in some instances children are using them to bully others mistakenly believing they can taunt a target anonymously.
NSW Police warn children that it’s a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace or harass or offend another person.
“And almost all malicious calls can now be traced,” Police say.
Police say parents with a problem should also talk to their mobile phone company to see if they can help.
“Your phone company may be able to stop certain numbers calling you,” NSW Police say.
Congratulations to Canowindra High School on the trial. Phones in the playground weren’t needed before they existed. Do they really have a place now?
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