Creating great digital resilience

Originally Posted on 8 March 2017 by Myros Allegrelittle-girl-on-phone-2

Online Safety and the Importance of Building Digital Resilience

In today’s society, the online world impacts every child’s existence. With the reality of growing up in such a technological age, parents strive to protect their children from the potential risks and dangers they might encounter online.

Ofcom reports that tablets and mobile phones are the most popular devices used by kids to go online. This makes it more challenging for parents to have control over what their kids access when online. However, building your child’s ability to combat online threats and persevere is the best method to deal with the inevitable risk of a digital presence.

How Much Control?

It isn’t possible make a child’s online experience 100% safe. Social media is the center of the social engagement of tweens and teens, and while they generally tend to socialize with their real-life friends when online, they also have access to strangers.

Your children’s friends may also pose a risk: Parents can set filters and controls on each device their child uses, but their child’s friends may not have that level of protection. There is little a parent can do to monitor and control another child’s digital usage.

Building Digital Resilience

It is true that there is plenty of questionable content out there, from X-rated videos to forums full of hurtful, anonymous comments. Since there is no way to fully protect kids from being exposed to such sites, the best course of action is to build their digital resilience.

Digital resilience is a child’s ability to handle online stress, risk, and harm and to bounce back from these unpleasant online experiences. In order to learn how to manage these types of situations and bounce back from them, children must be allowed, within reason, to experience them. Without the firsthand knowledge, these children will not have the opportunity to learn how to manage risk.

Learning digital resilience is an ongoing process that involves children, parents, and the community. The best way to build digital resistance is to take a three-pronged approach, as follows:

  1. Preventing and reducing exposure to risk whenever possible.
  2. Focusing on resources that help foster resilience in children (e.g. online safety education programs).
  3. Supporting the natural ability of children to adapt, while strengthening the relationships children have with mentors, honoring cultural traditions, and encouraging healthy cognitive development.

Fully protecting a child from the harsh realities of the online world is impossible. Building a child’s digital resilience is the single best way a child can learn to cope with these realities so they can enjoy a healthy, vibrant childhood.

*Thank you to Myros Allegre for permission to share her article.

Feel free to leave a comment.

So glad you stopped by the Noracast!

 

Advertisements

Three Weddings, a Castle, a Baby, plus Vincent van Gogh

Zane Grayson and the love of his life, Julia Emerson, have been held hostage by their author. Right smack dab in the middle of a rewrite, my main characters of Guardian 2632, a science fiction adventure, were silenced so life in Michigan could rage. And rage is maybe somewhat of an understatement.

Time. It can be both a blessing and a curse. My six, amazing children grew up way too quickly for me. That point aside, they are charismatic, loving people who have embraced this world with all it has to offer. Soulmates found, three weddings have come and gone. My sons, Ryan and Jordan, and my daughter, Rachael, have all married kindhearted, wonderful people whom enrich our family a great deal. So, welcome to the family, Chelsea, Bree, and Courtney! And on top of the weddings, baby Levi came into this world September 3, 2015. His parents are Jordan and Chelsea. Words cannot express how adorable or precious he is!

If you know my children, enjoy their Facebook pages and their lovely wedding photos! Out of respect for their privacy, I did not ask to post photos here.

Wedding gifts are also important, and my children agreed to share one of their gifts from me here, at the Noracast. I wanted to give each of my children a painting to commemorate their special day. Jordan is still pondering his chosen subject matter, but Ryan/Bree wanted the castle at Disneyland where they were engaged, and Rachael/Courtney chose Large Plane Trees…by Vincent Van Gogh (B: 1853-D: 1890).

Cinderella Castle, oh so beautiful, was no problem to paint because Ryan and Bree were there to capture it for me.

castle-3a

castle-3-noracast-2015-dec

castle-noracast

 

 

Vincent Van Gogh—interesting man and, he’s one of my favorite artists of all time. His use of color, especially that cool blue, and brush strokes that have a life of their own, captivate many observers. Do take a minute and read about Van Gogh here.

Back to Large Plane Trees. This copy was completed during my family’s 10th relocation, so some of my sanity was literally infused into the brush strokes, which may or may not be a good thing. Each evening after work, I would squish out paint onto my chosen palette…a large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, and mix away. I completed the wedding gift for Rachael and Courtney the night before I had to leave Michigan for Taneytown, MD. Rachael and Courtney got married at Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel. It is a fabulous place about twenty minutes outside of Gettysburg, PA.

slide-6b-noracast

It must be noted my copy of Large Plane Trees is not the exact size of Van Gogh’s. One of the copies I viewed online is 28 7/8 x 36 1/8 (inches) and another is a postcard 5.6 x 4.25 (inches). My canvas is 24 X 30 (inches).

m5

van-gogh-print-may-2016

 

The weddings have concluded, baby Levi is doing great, Cinderella Castle has a new home, and Van Gogh is no longer my nightly companion, so Zane and Julia here I come! Out of the frozen wasteland your author banished your plotline into must dissolve, because a creative frenzy is where you both belong. A new novel has taken shape as well, and quite a few poems are coming together too.

Vincent van Gogh said, “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” It is time to let my dreams scream.

Feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

 

 

Science Fiction Writing Contest: Beyond Time

beyond_timeInkitt’s latest Science Fiction writing contest “Beyond Time” open for submissions!

Inkitt is a free writing platform that aims to help writers achieve their fullest potential. On June 22nd the site launched a new Science Fiction writing contest:

Beyond Time

Submit your most imaginative and fantastic Science Fiction stories! Take your readers on a journey; ride a spaceship, explore an extraterrestrial universe, travel through time – the possibilities are endless and the universe is yours. Be spellbinding, be world altering, and let your imagination run free.

Contest guidelines

Authors will retain all rights to any and all works submitted in the contest.

Original stories of any length are accepted.

Entries must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible.

The contest opens on June 22th and closes on July 27th.

The contest is completely free to enter.

The top 10% based on reader votes get the chance to be picked by the Inkitt staff for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize.

All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a rapidly growing community of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction.

Submit your stories here: www.inkitt.com/beyondtime

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

Untitled

Inkitt’s latest Horror writing contest “END GAME Come Play” open for submissions!

Inkitt is a free writing platform that aims to help writers achieve their fullest potential.

END GAME Come Play

Contest Guidelines

Submit your scariest and most menacing original horror stories! Petrify us with tales that will trap and drown us in your world of helpless terror, but somehow leave us itching for more. Come. Play.

Authors will retain all rights to works submitted to the contest.

Original stories of any length are accepted.

Entries must be posted on the Inkitt contest page to be considered eligible.

The contest is completely free to enter.

The contest opens on July 13th and closes on August 10th.

The top 10% based on reader votes get the chance to be picked by the Inkitt staff for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize.

All entrants will have the chance to show their work to a rapidly growing community of authors and readers hungry for high-quality fiction.

Submit your stories here: http://www.inkitt.com/endgame

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

BRAIN FREEZE REMEDIES

Brain Freeze FinalCold. So frigid where I live, that at times—even my imagination, which is usually hyper crazy and difficult to contain, was stopped dead during creative rages due to being iced. Yes, I layered my clothes, walked around carrying steaming hot tea, and became seriously attached to my portable heater, yet my bones and brain remained as numb as a corpse. Not fun, this I do realize!

Now, don’t get me wrong…there is much beauty found when the white fluff surrounds  e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I do believe while the earth sleeps beneath its natural blankets of white, many who are outdoor adventurists are thrilled, but this year, with all too frequent -20 degrees below zero stints, I wished February away.

Slide3

On the bright side, thanks to my son being a musician (violin & guitar) and constantly Invinciblelistening to music on his phone, I discovered some inspiring tunes that overtook the chill in the air. Some of the music he replayed quite a bit, sounded faintly familiar, yet other tracks were completely new to me. As you’ll see, his tastes run the gamut from melodic sounds that are peaceful to full blown, epic arrangements which helped spark some fresh ideas for a few of my characters. Ah, well…the music also led me to charge ahead like a bat out of the bottomless pits and “do away” with a particularly horrible character who had it coming. Nasty fellow… For example, one of my favorite finds is Heart of Courage from the masterminds at Two Steps from Hell. It’s from their outstanding album Invincible.

If your creative flare, expressed by writing, painting, composing music, or any other outlet is in need of a lift, a reason to soar into unexplored territory, then visit the links below and discover how awesome imagination can be…

dragon 1 finalEnjoy!

You Tube: TWO STEPS FROM HELL

Website: TWO STEPS FROM HELL

You Tube: AUDIOMACHINE

Website: AUDIOMACHINE

You Tube: The Piano Guys

Website: The Piano Guys

You Tube: Lindsey Stirlinga world final

Website: Lindsey Stirling

You Tube: Luca Stricagnoli

Website: Luca Stricagnoli

Have you listened to some awesome music you’d like to share? Feel free to comment. Thank you for visitng the Noracast!

Melange Books 2015 Giveaway Extravaganza!

black                                                                                                                                                              Love to read? I know! Me too, so have some fun—visit Melange Books to enter this fantastic giveaway! Check it out, because ebooks, ARC’s, and autographed print books are up for grabs, plus one lucky winner receive a brand new Kindle Fire HD6 AND a $25 Amazon Gift Card to stock it full of books! Sounds awesome, right?

Please check out my books The Twelfth Paladin (supernatural/thriller) and Guardian 2632 (science fiction/adventure). Romance, murder/mystery, and fantasy/adventure themed books are there and accounted for as well. Take your time while scrolling to find the books that are perfect for you!

twelfthpaladin

guardian2632

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kragan

 

FindingTWBack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To enter, go HERE: http://melange-books.com/2015NYGiveaway.html
Keep in mind: A LOT of giveaways will load on that link above. Please let the page fully load everything before entering. Click the link, go check your Facebook or Twitter, then check back!

HeartExile

And for the blog comments entries, visit, and then leave a post here! http://www.melange-books.com/blog/new-years-giveaway-extravaganza/

GRAND PRIZE

One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive a Kindle Fire HD6 and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Two (2) second place winners will each receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

SecondBest

 

 

1CovertExposureHappy New Year!

Thanks for visiting the Noracast.

 

 

ForgettingFallenwood

Preventing Toxic Stress

Preventing TS 5Stress is a normal part of life, and it can motivate people toward reaching goals. However, it can, especially in young children, hinder mental, social, brain, and personal development since humans are not born automatically instilled with the most productive ways to deal with stress.

What is toxic stress? An informative place to start is (CDCHU) Center on the Developing Child/Harvard University.  The definition provided there is…“While moderate, short-lived stress responses in the body can promote growth, toxic stress is the strong, unrelieved activation of the body’s stress management system in the absence of protective adult support. Without caring adults to buffer children, the unrelenting stress caused by extreme poverty, neglect, abuse, or severe maternal depression can weaken the architecture of the developing brain, with long-term consequences for learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health.”

Stress is our body’s reaction to being overstimulated, feeling threatened, overwhelmed, being uncomfortable with new places and people, and stress can be brought on by too much excitement too. If stress is not managed properly, it has the potential to lead to a damaged immune system and lifelong health issues so says the Psychology Foundation of Canada. Tantrums, nonstop crying and whining, violent outbursts, a relentless sense of being tired and withdrawn, headaches, trouble eating/sleeping, bad habits like biting nails, hair twisting, and sucking thumbs have the potential to develop if toxic stress is left to wreak havoc upon a child—a child who wants to trust family members and teachers.

The Psychology Foundation of Canada emphasizes, “Preschoolers can handle stress better Blog kids 2when they have a healthy, balanced lifestyle with good food, lots of time for physical activity, play and relaxation, and daily routines that make their world feel predictable and safe.”

Negative Impacts from Stress

Mental Development

If everyday stress and/or chronic long term stress are left to simmer without intervention, logic tells us ABCs, 1-2-3s, and all other knowledge needed to mature travel a longer, rougher terrain to get inside of a child’s mind. If a child is stressing over a bully waiting for him/her outside on the playground, or stressing about his/her mother’s reaction to a teacher’s note, basic survival kicks in. The ABCs and 1-2-3s pale in comparison.

Social Development

If everyday stress and/or chronic long term stress persist, undesirable behaviors might manifest, like becoming that bully on the playground, tantrums, inflicting self-harm, loud outbursts, or a child shutting down to become anti-social is a real possibility. It’s crucial for strategies, routines, and action plans be in place that children are aware of to decrease the chances of stress damaging their social development.

Personal Development

If everyday stress and/or chronic long term stress become too acceptable for a child, what personal goals will be disregarded because surviving is more important? Maybe a child desperately wants to learn to read, but constant teasing about it feeds a negative message about school, so that child gives up. Parents, teachers, and caregivers can reduce stress so children feel safe in their environments, safe to learn.

Toxic stress can be prevented through awareness, education, and resources made available to anyone in need of them. Keep in mind…

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that “many adult diseases should be viewed as developmental disorders that begin early in life and that persistent health disparities associated with poverty, discrimination, or maltreatment could be reduced by the alleviation of toxic stress in childhood.”

  • Risk factors for children to become exposed to toxic stress “include examples of multiple stressors (eg, child abuse or neglect, parental substance abuse, and maternal depression) that are capable of inducing a toxic stress response (AAP).”
  • Stress-induced alterations in the design of a child’s developing brain can have possible permanent effects on a range of important functions “such as regulating stress physiology, learning new skills, and developing the capacity to make healthy adaptations to future adversity (AAP).
  • “Impaired parenting—defined as harsh, inconsistent, or indifferent parenting—is known to be related to poor developmental and emotional outcomes in young children, says the National Center for Children in Poverty.
  • Resources like Prevent Child Abuse America, National Center for Children in Poverty, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The Psychology Foundation of Canada, school counselors, social workers, and child welfare programs can assist parents/caregivers, teachers, and the community to protect children from toxic stress.

The more parents/caregivers understand about the development of children, the better equipped they will be to get their children off to a good start. Pediatric doctors, schools, child welfare programs, and the community all have the potential to impact this issue. Take time to learn about toxic stress, and then spread the word!

Please feel free to comment, and share this post.

Thanks for visiting the Noracast!

Bully

Lee Hirsch’s BULLY is shocking, informative, and thought provoking as it takes the audience on a dangerous and terrifying journey into a realm where bullies rule. This realm spreads out across America like a devastating infection, claiming lives and ruining youthful days better spent pursuing dreams.

The children in this movie—Kelby, Ja’Meya, and Alex, all have a story of their own to tell. Each story is filled with deep sadness. Each story pulls on a person’s heartstrings. David and Tina Long recount about the actions of bullies that eventually became too much for their son, Tyler. Tyler, only 17 years old, hung himself.

On The Bully Project website, it was stated, “Over 13 million American kids will be victims of bullying this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation.” Okay, that number is just as shocking as the documentary, which is why neither should be ignored. Children deserve to feel safe going to school, learning at school, and then returning home. The website is full of tips for parents and schools who are interested in taking action against this frightening situation. Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about this. If your child is being bullied, or if your child is a bully, helpful information is there.

Watching this movie, I could not help but to wonder…

Why was there no accountability placed on the actual bullies? The victims were the ones hassled, interviewed, and made to feel like they deserved what they got.

Were any of the schools held accountable for what was happening on school property and buses?

Were any of the bullies referred to social workers to try and figure out why they were being so cruel? Were their parents or caregivers involved at all? What about consequences?

Do states require schools to have and enforce some kind of action plan for educating students/staff about this issue, and then if so…how is this action planned enforced?

Now, many, many more questions are bouncing around in my head. This movie certainly is a call to action, so I must do more research and find out if our local schools are actively fighting against bullying. The Bully Project/movie is powerful and memorable. I was encouraged after the movie to see snippets from the proactive segments that showed how initiating bully awareness and educating children on what to do really did make a drastic difference.

What are your thoughts about this issue? Do your neighborhood schools have a bully awareness program/protocol?

Thanks for visiting!