Join like minded women to network, learn, share and celebrate being a working parent!
- Nicola McGuinness – Career and Confidence Coach talks to us about her experience coaching women to use their potential for an impactful, fulfilling and joyful career.
- Citi Bank share their good practice for promoting a positive and parent friendly workplace.
- Panel discussion and Q&A with local business women.
- Afternoon Tea
Kindly supported by Belfast Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Michelle Kelly and sponsored by CITI.
View evaluation here.
Over the last six months, prices have risen at so quickly that families are worried about what lies ahead in the winter months.
Every household is feeling the pinch, but with Christmas just around the corner financial pressures are particularly mounting for parents.
Around two-thirds of parents in Northern Ireland say money is currently one of the greatest challenges they’re facing, closely followed by mental health.
That’s according to a recent survey published by Parenting NI which also revealed that over the last six months parents have been increasingly worried about the cost of food.
Read more: https://www.itv.com/news/utv/2022-10-21/cost-of-living-ni-parents-money-worries-as-christmas-approaches
Parenting NI Support Line will be closed on the following days/Times:
- Thursday 15th Dec from 12.30pm – 3.30pm
- Friday 23rd Dec from 9.30am and will stay closed until 4.30pm on Tuesday 3rd Jan
We will reopen on Wednesday 4th Jan 2023 at 9.30am.
Read the survey report here.
‘This is the first time Parenting NI has conducted a “Parent Mental Health, Wellbeing and Cost of Living” survey. Due to the dramatic increase in the cost of living, we felt compelled to ensure that the voice of parents is considered in what can only be described as an emergency. This survey gives parents from every part of society an opportunity to tell us about their current experiences of parenting in Northern Ireland, what levels of support they have and what gaps there are and what they need to support them on their parenting journey.
We are aware that financial insecurity can have a huge effect on a parent’s mental health. Therefore, we wanted to focus in on these issues in this survey. These issues will be familiar to service providers and policy makers across all departments and organisations. Parents have expressed a level of concern that must be met with action, and this survey has further exposed the experiences of parents and families from all backgrounds.’
– Charlene Brooks, CEO Parenting NI
Parenting NI has a vision of a society a society where parenting is valued, parents’ voices are heard and where every family is given the support they need.
The Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly need to show that they support parents and the value they bring to society. It is imperative that regional support services are adequately funded to support parents, and those in a parenting role, with children from infants to teenage years. This will ensure that outcomes for families in Northern Ireland will improve and contribute to a fair and compassionate society.
NSPCC, PHA and BSHCT along with a range of multi-agency partners including Parenting NI have come together to roll out the PANTS campaign across the Belfast area to empower parents and professionals to have simple age-appropriate conversations with children aged 4-8 years old to help protect them from sexual abuse.
The campaign launch was held on Wednesday 28th September with a range of campaign partners and experts helping to set the scene for the campaign which will run for the next six months across the Belfast area.
After the launch event workshops will be held to help professionals gain confidence in using the campaign resources and messages, this will be followed by activities in the community with families and children directly, where Pantosaurus, the campaigns friendly mascot will be on tour appearing at events and visiting schools as well as other settings.
So, to explain more about the PANTS campaign messaging here is some background to the campaign. We know that we are used to talking to children about things like crossing the road safely. But what about speaking to them about messages that will help to keep them safe from sexual abuse? We understand that talking about this topic might feel daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. PANTS has been created specifically, with the help of parents and professionals, to make sure these conversations are as easy and appropriate as possible for children from the age of four upwards.
The PANTS tools and resources give adults simple ways to open these conversations in a clear and child-friendly way to give children confidence and knowledge. The key messages are:
P – Privates are privates.
A – Always remember your body belongs to you.
N – No means no.
T – Talk about secrets that upset you.
S – Speak up, someone can help.
Every family is different and when and where parents or carers have these conversations will depend on their child – it’s all about whatever feels natural for them. A few examples of where parents have told us it worked for them have included bath time, getting dressed, car journeys, out for a walk or swimming. Or, start talking PANTS with the help of our friendly dinosaur mascot Pantosaurus featured throughout our website page and materials.
There is a range of other PANTS guides for parents, carers and children, including guides in a number of different languages and for people with a disability. There are also guides for foster carers, parents with a learning disability, parents of children with autism, and a film for deaf children as well as a PANTS Makaton resource. You can find these on the NSPCC website – www.nspcc.org.uk/pants
You can find lots of information and support about talking PANTS on the website link. Or call the NSPCC helpline at any time on 0808 800 5000 for any advice, or email email@example.com.
If you would like any more information on the Belfast Area PANTS Campaign and how to get involved please contact: Margaret Gallagher, Head of Local Campaigns, NSPCC firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital safety can be a difficult topic for all parents, not least those who aren’t very technically savvy. There is a bewildering array of apps and social media sites available, all hugely popular with the teenage age group. Take a moment to read our Parents Guide to Facebook & learn all about the safety features available on this site to help keep your child safe online.
What is Facebook
Facebook is a social media platform which allows for the sharing of images, text & videos. Users can add other people as ‘friends’ in an online network and share updates about themselves. Users can like, react or comment on statuses, images, videos, comments & much more on the platform. The social media platform also encompasses businesses, organisations & news outlets, making it a huge source of digital information sharing. The network allows individuals to create ‘Groups’ which are for people with mutual interests to connect and share information. Facebook has event planning & invite tools available for individuals and businesses to organise events with. There is a digital marketplace on Facebook, where individuals can sell goods & services in their local areas. People use the social platform to stay connected with friends virtually and update others on their lives, keep up to date with news and groups they are interested in & watch videos, play games & more.
Facebook has a ‘messenger’ application which is connected on desktop or optionally downloadable in app form via phone. Messenger allows users to send real time, digital messages to each other, similar to texting. Users can send images, videos, gifs, files & create or join group chats of multiple people via messenger.
How do I set up an account?
You can create an account through the Facebook homepage. Users are required to sign up with their full name & date of birth and confirm their account through an email address or a phone number. Facebook does not allow children below the age of 13 to sign up for an account.
What do I need to keep an eye on?
Minimum Age Range
Facebook does not allow children below the age of 13 to sign up for an account. Facebook requires users to enter their date of birth before signing up and bars users below this age from creating an account.
- You can set your child’s account to private so individuals can only see their profile when they have accepted their friend request. Go to your profile and in the top right corner of the screen click the small downward facing arrow. Click ‘Settings & Privacy’.
- Next to ‘Activity’ change the option saying ‘Who can see my future posts’ to ‘Friends’. Change the option next to ‘Who can send me friend requests’ to ‘Friends of Friends’ to minimise the likelihood of people unknown to your child trying to add them.
- Next to How people can find and contact you toggle beside Who can look you up from the email your provided and Who can look you up from the phone number you provider > Only Me
- Go to the Profile section in the privacy settings section and change the following: Who can post on your profile > Friends, Who can see what others post on your profile > Friends, Allow others to share your post to their story > No, When you’re tagged in a post, who do you want to add to the audience of the post if they can’t already see it? > Friends
- Enable Timeline review to allow your child to check what they are being tagged in before posts go public. You can do this by going to Timeline and tagging. Enable the section which says Review posts that you’re tagged in before the post appears on your timeline? & enable Review tags that people add to your posts before the tags appear on Facebook?
There are a host of other useful privacy settings which you can change to your satisfaction for your child. The above privacy settings are a useful, strong start to keep your child safe on this platform.
Blocking an Account
You can block another user from following you, seeing your profile or any of your content by going on their profile and going to ‘Settings’ option on the top right of the screen. You can then select the ‘Blocking’ option. This will allow your child to remove anyone from their account with who they are having any negative interactions.
Reporting an Account
If your child is uncomfortable with the behaviour of another account, has seen something that has upset them, or noticed another user engaging in bullying behavior, they can report the account to Facebook, who will review that user’s social media use. You can also report spam, groups, ads with this tool. To do this, go on their profile and select the ‘…’ symbol to the right of the post that has concerned them. There will be an option to report the activity, post, group or individual available here.
It is possible for people to share their location each time they post. Make sure your child is aware of the dangers of sharing their real-time location online, and encourage them to never tag any image or status they post with the location on it.
Facebook has a ‘Parents Portal’ with further information on how to chat to your child about digital safety, pointers on their privacy features and much more useful information. Find out more here
Facebook Etiquette for Children
Digitally safe children are children who are not afraid to share their online experiences with their parents. If you aren’t confident online, ask your kids to teach you how to use their favourite apps. Children who can speak to you about their social media use are more likely to come to you if there is a problem. Teens enjoy social media sites as they allow them to interact with their peer group and practice self expression, while staying in touch with friends. Age-appropriate social media use that is monitored safely by parents with security features enabled can be a positive way for your children to interact with the digital world, learn new skills & interact with their peer group.
Some tips for parents to keep in mind:
- Remind your young person that it is always good to discuss difficult or potentially volatile conversations in person, rather than online.
- Emphasise that respecting others’ privacy is as important online as it is in person. They should not share their friend’s private information or share anything sent to them with others that would violate another’s privacy. Teaching your child the value of respecting others in the digital sphere is an important life skill for children to learn.
- Encourage them to be a positive influence on social media. Remind them that digital interactions which are hurtful or mean can be just as damaging as face-to-face insults.
- Learning when is the right time to leave a conversation digitally is also a good skill to teach your child, as it is easy to type a message in the heat of the moment and then regret it!
- It is worth discussing with your teen that sending inappropriate images on Facebook or Facebook messenger is never a good idea. Images can be saved by recipients in direct message conversations and could easily be shared outside of this private conversation. A conversation that underlines that anyone requesting such images does not have your teen’s best interest at heart is an essential conversation to have.
- Encourage your young person to talk to you if they see something or read something that they are worried or scared about – open and honest communication is really important when keeping your child safe online