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Updated: Jun 20, 2022

We’re now quite familiar with SLIP SLOP SLAP WRAP and Make It Click. Lately we are coming to grips with MASK, SCAN, PASS. And here’s another mantra for us all: STOP BLOCK TALK.

As for the others, STOP, BLOCK & TALK® is all about keeping us safe and healthy, the point of difference being online safety and mental health. STOP, BLOCK & TALK® is a proven strategy for our tamariki to deal with unwanted online interaction and online abuse

Our children live in the age of online technology. Google is the modern encyclopedia and the way they interact with their friends differs from that of anyone over the age of 30 used to. The older generation are still coming to grips with social media. STOP, BLOCK & TALK® is a proven strategy to develop confidence and stay safe online, for all ages. Many Mid Canterbury school children have already heard of STOP, BLOCK & TALK® through sessions held at their schools. The Digital Waitaha Charitable Trust wants all Canterbury children as well as their parents/grandparents/caregivers/whānau to embrace this easy-to-teach mantra.

Let’s consider STOP, BLOCK & TALK® for each age group:

Pre-school: Surely they don’t need to worry about online safety?? You pop on a Disney+ or Netflix movie and they’re nice & quiet for a while. We can tell them not to stray beyond what we allow them to watch. But kids are curious creatures. They may have seen you access Youtube and while your back is turned they may accidentally click on another link and come across inappropriate content. Ideally, STOP, BLOCK & TALK® is taught as soon as the child has online access and will set them up for a safer online future. And, here’s the best part, it’s so easy to teach with these three simple words:

STOP as soon as you feel scared or unsafe. BLOCK yourself from seeing it again. TALK to mum, dad or another trusted person in the house.

Primary School: As soon as tamariki start to read and type, they are more likely to interact with others online through games like Roblox, Minecraft, Fortnite, TikTok, Snapchat etc. Conversations could become bullying, language used could be uncomfortable and inappropriate questions being asked. Again, the message is clear: STOP, then BLOCK the person who is upsetting you or making you feel anxious then TALK to a trusted adult like a parent, teacher or other whānau.

Intermediate and College: This group is concerned with issues such as body image, sense of belonging, FOMO (fear of missing out), all while teenage hormones play havoc. They may also start to rebel against their parents and tend to look to their peers to be their support networks. STOP, BLOCK & TALK® still apply, but they are encouraged to talk to close friends, teachers, principals, older ākonga, etc.

To recap the drill:

STOP: Stop watching the content, stop playing the online game, stop interacting with the bully

BLOCK: Block the bully, block yourself from the game or from coming across the situation again

TALK: Talk to an adult you trust, eg parent, other family member, teacher

For more information and examples visit the website Our Vision is we want all individuals to be safe, ethical and responsible digital device users who successfully manage their digital wellbeing and safety. STOP, BLOCK & TALK® is their evidence-based digital safety programme.

Keen to support this programme? Donate now!

~Coby Snowden - trust scribe

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