'Not My Kid'
There was a time when I honestly felt “not my kid”.
I imagined nothing could happen to my child. But it did, despite my vigilance.
Last year, with my daughter's permission, I stepped forward and shared our personal experience of her encounter with a predator via an online game and the devastating effect it had on her.
This experience, in part, led me to where I am today, but not just this experience.
Navigating Parenting Is A Challenge
Navigating parenting during the early years of the smartphone was like walking through the jungle with your eyes closed.
My older son and I went through some tough times, and these too contributed to the foundation of my changed trajectory.
Coupled with this, I have managed my husband’s psychiatric practice for over a decade. During this time, I have noted an alarming deterioration in the mental health of teens today with an undeniable link to social media and gaming.
When my youngest started primary school in 2019, I started a closed Facebook Group, “Not My Kid”.
I wanted to create a village of like-minded parents and I wanted to help those feeling lost. The group offers information and resources and invites members to ask questions and open discussions.
I invited other professionals to join the group, as I honestly feel that no ONE person can ever be an ‘expert’ in the rapidly advancing cyber world.
I have a special interest in the prevention of child exploitation and last year began a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice.
I felt this was important, not only to broaden my knowledge, but to develop my critical thinking further. As well as this, I have recently completed several short training courses with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the US.
In addition, I have a:
- Certificate in Counselling and Psychology with the Career Academy
- Certificate of Achievement in Keeping Children Safe Online (2021) with NSPCC Learning / CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command), UK
- Completed the Annual Advanced Certificate in Online Safety for Safeguarding Leads (2020/2021)
- Completed the Annual Certificate in Online Safety for Non-Teaching Staff (2020/2021) with National Online Safety, UK
- Together with a further 40 CPD (continuing professional development) hours with National Online Safety, UK
I have recently trained as an Ambassador for ScreenStrong - supporting families to delay social media and gaming.
Now I'm A Cyber Safety Consultant
All this has forced me to not step, but leap out of my ‘comfort zone’. But I guess that’s what passion can do to a person and passionate I am.
As a parent awareness advocate/cyber safety consultant, I draw on my personal experience, work experience, and education to help parents empower themselves with knowledge in order to better protect their children online.
The internet is vast and not age segregated. We all need as much help as we can get. I know how hard it is.
Allow me to help you. Get in touch with me here.