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SPECIAL SECTION | Cyber Wellness and the Family

We teach our children balance, that there is a real world where awesome and real things happen as compared to their online activities.

In the evenings after dinner, cleaning up, and lola duties, Carlo and I would sit and chat while taking care of Rafael in order to give Giselle a much-needed two hours of uninterrupted sleep. Carlo would talk about what he looks forward to, like answering all of Rafael’s questions (huh, we’ll see about that), picnics, teaching him how to ride a bike, fly a kite, and endless bonding time. Together we dream… and everything is right with the world. What we have not discussed—because we are not ready to burst our happy bubble—are our fears and the dangers of growing up in this techno world. We each say a silent prayer and hope that the world will be a kind and safe place for him.

For me, cyber wellness is about being able to bracket and keep contained all this cyber stuff that prevents us from enjoying the present. From everything I know and researched about Internet safety and cyber wellness, what stands out is the Internet Code of Conduct by Touch Cyber Wellness. It talks of the following:

Below is an excerpt from John O’Donohue’s “As a Child Enters the World,” which best describes how we have all been blessed. As I enter my new family, May they be delighted At how their kindness Comes into blossom. Unknown to me and them, May I be exactly the one To restore in their forlorn places New vitality and promise. May the hearts of others Hear again the music In the lost echoes Of their neglected wonder. 22

FamilyMatters | September-November 2016

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We teach our children that the privilege they enjoy comes with responsibility and with respect for others and should not cause any harm. We teach them balance, that there is a real world where awesome and real things happen as compared to their online activities. We teach them astuteness, which is learning to differentiate between real and imaginary, knowing who and what to trust. We teach them privacy, that not everything is to be shared with everyone. Unlike conversations and experiences, digital prints last forever. We teach them security and how to protect their computers with passwords. Most of all, we teach them integrity, to do what is morally right, not just what is allowable or legal.

Family Matters September-November 2016  
Family Matters September-November 2016