Priya Clark


It’s important to teach your children the importance of being alert and knowing the dangers that can come with interacting with strangers. While you can’t be by your child’s side the entire the day, there are safety precautions you can take that can help ease your mind.

1. Remind your children that it’s not just strange men they should be wary of. Women can be just as dangerous, and it’s important to teach children to be cautious of all people they don’t know well.

2. Create a code word for your child that’s easy to remember. If a stranger asks them to come along with them, tell your child to ask the stranger for the code word.

3. Mobile phones can be the cause of distractions, but having you child carry one with them can benefit them in emergency situations. Child friendly phones are readily available.

4. Make sure they know that there are safe “strangers” they can trust. If you’re worried one day you’ll be late to pick them up from school, tell them if they can wait with a friend’s parents you trust until you can make it.

5. Do little quizzes every now and then to keep them up to date with their stranger danger knowledge. You can ask them questions like “Will a stranger be nice to you?” or “Is a stranger a woman?” to see if they know who to avoid and what to do.

Pauline Hanson proposes removing autistic children from mainstream classrooms, believing it will be a benefit for children without autism. She feels children without autism are “Held back by those [students with autism] because the teachers spend [more] time with them”.

Ms Hanson worries that such inclusion will have a negative impact on other children’s learning.

During a Senate debate regarding school funding, Ms Hanson voiced her concerns, asking if including children with autism was “At the loss of our other kids?”

Ms Hanson stated that children with autism certainly have a right to education, but including them in mainstream classrooms is not the best idea. Ms Hanson mentioned that “We have to be realistic at times and consider the impact that [this] is having on other children in that classroom”.

Ms Hanson has sparked outrage from not only parents of autistic children, but disability focused organisations.


“Research consistently demonstrates that educational outcomes are better for both kids with disability and those without disability when they are included together in the classroom.”

The CEO of Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO), Mr Ross Joyce, responded to Ms Hanson’s statements; “Ms Hanson’s views are out of touch with the rest of the Australian community and fly in the face of good educational practice.”

Mr Joyce further says, “Research consistently demonstrates that educational outcomes are better for both kids with disability and those without disability when they are included together in the classroom.”

Parents of autistic children have retaliated to Hanson’s comments on Twitter, stating how “The positives towards autism and inclusion from all walks and trades of life is amazing” and “My autistic son has taught me more about life than anyone”.

Since the incident, Ms Hanson still stands by her comments, telling Parliament reporters; “I am not apologising.”


Fake hangings. Playing with fire. Things we normally expect children to stay away from, but these dangerous pranks and stunts have sparked a deadly interest.

An 11 year old boy in the United States died while apparently trying imitate a hanging prank video he viewed online. The ‘joke’ was to have his mother walk in on the hanging, but the prank quickly became dangerous. The boy, hanging in his bedroom closet, stopped breathing, and his nearby siblings rushed to get help from their mother. Sadly, the boy’s family were not able to save him in time, and he died a short time later in hospital.

There has been steady a rise in YouTube videos that are dangerous and violent. This isn’t the only report of risky videos mimicked by children.

Another incident occurred earlier this year in the United States, where an 8 year old boy imitated a stunt involving fire. After rubbing hand sanitizer on his hands, the boy then had his brother set his hands alight so his hands would ‘glow’.

A quick search reveals several fake suicide hanging videos, with one of them receiving more than 10 million views.

Unfortunately, some of the sanitizer fell on the boy’s shirt, and the fire quickly spread. This was all featured in a YouTube stunt he watched earlier online, and the boy was left with second degree burns.

A quick search reveals several fake suicide hanging videos, with one of them receiving more than 10 million views.

Searching for the hand sanitizer stunt even reveals a video titled “How to light your hands on fire…Safely”, a video that gives step by step instructions on how to set alight to your hands.

Another playing with fire video has almost 3.5 million views. “The Duct Tape Challenge”, where people are covered in duct tape and have to free themselves, left a boy with 48 stiches in his head and is now blind in one eye.

These videos have started a discussion among parents. Facebook reveals one parent who believes that “It all goes back to internet safety and how responsible or mature the child is when watching things of that nature”. Another parent stated how “It falls on the parents to teach your children to know better and to keep an eye on them”.

While some pranks and stunts can be viewed as innocent, some of these users try to outdo one another. The crazier the prank, the more views they get.

Children are easily influenced, and these videos are alluring. They’re popular, controversial, and easy to imitate.

What’s stopping kids from trying out these hundreds and hundreds of prank and stunt videos at home?

A common fear among parents is that their child isn’t treated fairly. Their home life might be accepting and comfortable, but you can’t control the environment at school. While bullying is an issue rampant across schools, there are ways to handle it and minimise the problem. Here’s ten ways you can address the problem of your child being bullied.

1. Make sure your child’s teachers are aware of the problem. Teachers need to be informed of the issue so they can watch out for any bullying.

2. Show that you’re taking the problem seriously by listening to your child about the bulling incidents. Showing initiative is important.

3. Discuss your child’s day at school on a regular basis, and prompt them to open up about the bullying. Is it happening again? Is it even worse than before?

4. Encourage self-confidence. By teaching them to be confident you can encourage your children to seek help from teachers and peers, and to ignore any harsh words thrown their way.

5. Have a safe space for them at home. Their home life doesn’t have to be as stressful as their school environment, so make them feel secure and loved.

6. Surround them with other children they can connect with. While providing a safe home environment can certainly be helpful, children want to connect with peers their age.

7. Let them have personal days. Try not to let your children make a habit of this, but letting them have a day off every now and then will give them a break from being so stressed.

8. Remind them the bullying isn’t their fault. It’s easy for bullied children to put the blame on themselves for being “different”, but let them know there’s no shame in being bullied.

9. If the bullying continues, get the principal involved. This gives you a chance to be direct and ask why the situation hasn’t been handled properly. At this point, there’s no need to beat around the bush, as both you and your child deserve an answer.

10. When communicating with teachers and principals, let your child get their side of the story out. It shows you care about their perspective and feelings.

A stimulated toddler is a happy toddler, but that’s not always so easy to achieve. Here are some tips on how to keep your toddler busy, inspired, and happy.



1. Read to them. Not only will they get an early start on literacy skills, but if you do this at night, your voice will calm them down and help them sleep.

2. Sing to them or with them as a way to introduce them to remembering words and the idea of timing.

3. Introduce them to the alphabet. Not only will this help them when they begin school, but this is another way for their memory skills to develop.

4. Encourage them to count, and this can easily done in the home. They can count the knives and forks you’re using for dinner that night, or they can just use their fingers and toes.

5. Let them be imaginative. Kids are usually full of creativity, so let them have some time to play and pretend.

6. Give them tools to build and be creative. Markers and crayons can make the experience even more fun and get them used to gripping writing instruments early on.

7. Get them outside. You don’t have to take them far as the backyard or the local park will do fine. Here you can introduce them to not only plants, but everyday aspects we don’t normally pay too much attention to, like the weather.

8. An easy scavenger hunt in the backyard or even in the home can encourage their sense of discovery and adventure. You could ask them to find one yellow flower, one blue flower, and a rock, or easily accessible items in the home.

9. Blocks and puzzles are a great way to encourage hand-eye coordination, colour recognition, and building and creating.

10. Simon Says is a free and easy game that will surely keep your toddler stimulated and entertained. This will not only help with their memory, but encourage them to listen attentively when you are speaking.

A confident child can grow up to be a successful adult. A child with confidence will find it easier to make friends, join clubs and activities, and transition from primary to high school. A strong self-esteem built from childhood can aid children in completing goals as they get older.

1. Failing a task isn’t the end of the world, and can actually help your children in the long run. This is normal, and your children struggling with a problem gives you a chance to show them how to address them properly.

2. Remind your children that they don’t have to look like their favourite characters from television or movies. You want your children to accept themselves the way they are.

3. Don’t always do everything for them. Let them pack their own bag for school or help in creating meals. Your child will realise that you have faith in them to make some decisions, however small they may be.

4. Encourage their imagination. While literacy and numeracy skills are very much important, creative kids need their needs met too. Dancing and acting will also build confidence to be in front of a crowd.

5. Reminding your children that you are in fact listening to their concerns will reinforce their self-worth. Listening to them about their school activities or chats with their friends will show you have an interest in them.

6. Try not to compare them to others. Children already compare themselves to their peers and don’t need their parents doing the same.

7. Be proud of their achievements. Letting them know you’re proud of their work in school or sports clubs will reinforce the idea of their own value.

8. Children often follow the habits of their parents, so try to display your own self confidence. If you make a mistake, don’t put yourself down, especially in front of your kids.

9. Bring up past achievements.  Reminding them of their past successes will give them a confidence boost, especially if they’re feeling down.

10. Acceptance. It’s important to simply accept your child the way they are. There are of course improvements you can make over time, but remember to recognise your child and their uniqueness.