09 April 2018
Young people, our rangatahi and tamariki, can access virtually any content on their devices – anywhere, any time. As digital natives, they can and should make use of these opportunities for communication, education and entertainment.
But rangatahi and tamariki can also be negatively impacted by what they see.
You can’t control everything they see but you can help them make good decisions about what they choose to watch and help them think critically about the content.
Here are some ways you can support a safer media environment at home for your rangatahi and tamariki:
If you’d like a free hard copy printed version of these guides please email your name, postal address and the quantity you require. We encourage schools to share this resource with parents, and for parents to share among friends and family.
Young people’s views about the world and how to behave can be informed by what they watch. Talking about what they see in movies, shows and games is a great way to help them think critically about the content.
The golden rule is to keep it casual. If you make it heavy, it’s harder.
Ask questions like:
Show that you respect their point of view, even when you disagree.
The more you watch together and talk with your rangatahi and tamariki about what they are watching, the more comfortable they’ll be talking about sensitive, challenging or distressing content.
Watching together provides great opportunities to talk about sensitive topics including drug and alcohol use, suicide, bullying, sexual violence and pornography.
Be prepared to talk about things like:
If your teen has a strong reaction to something they’ve seen on screen it’s important to ask them what made them feel that way, and help them talk about the emotions they are feeling.
You don’t need to know all the answers. The important thing is that you’re available for open discussion. If they need someone else to talk to, encourage them to talk to an older sibling, a teacher, a counsellor, or another trusted adult.
Cyberbullying and other harmful online behaviour:
Information about movies, TV shows and other media:
Helplines and information for parents, children and young people:
For other lines, the Mental Health Foundation has a great list.
Get in touch by email, phone, Facebook or Twitter for extra information: