It has been another busy term with the Interhouse Choir Competition, Prefect selection, Girls Grammar Long Lunch, School Musical, Senior Social, sporting competitions, Year 12 Mock Exams and more. Many girls have said they are looking forward to having some time over this holiday period to relax and prepare themselves for the final term of 2022.
Over the last two weeks I have had to speak with a number of our girls about breaches of our mobile phone policy. Some conversations focused on safety concerns while others were about the compulsion that some girls feel to be engaging with social media frequently. Not only did these behaviours breach our Mobile Phone Policy and in some cases our Acceptable Use of Technology and Social Media policy, but more concerning was the wellbeing focus of these conversations. Some girls admitted to using their devices until midnight each night.
In a survey of over 3000 parents of children aged between 2-17 years in 2018, the eSafety Commissioner website reports that 52% of parents with children and 68% of parents with teens believe their children spend too much time online. A number of parents I speak with also report this as a key area of conflict within the home.
The eSafety Commissioner has a number of resources to support parents who may be feeling the same way which can be found at the following link https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/big-issues/time-online . Information on signs to look for, having a conversation, what to do if you’re concerned and setting boundaries is available.
They acknowledge there is no ‘magic figure’ and the right amount of screen time can depend on a range of factors like your child’s age and maturity, the kind of content they are consuming, their learning needs and your family routine. The site also has information for young people who may need strategies for gaining a better balance of their online and offline time.
Hopefully this holiday break provides your family with an opportunity to spend valuable time together and I look forward to the girls returning for our final term of 2022.
Deputy Principal - Students