About Us

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Welcome to Parents Corner, a resource aimed at parents seeking a no-nonsense guide to understanding the use of cellphones by the youth.

Some of the issues we will cover are:

  • Is it a good idea to give my child a cellphone, even if it is just to make emergency calls?
  • Should I be concerned that my child spends every evening on his or her cellphone chatting with friends?
  • I got this huge bill this month, how do I find out where these charges come from?
  • Someone is sending bullying SMS messages to my child, what can I do about this?

We recognise that parenting is not easy and that the cellphone has added to the generation gap, especially if you as a parent are perplexed by mobile technology and just can't get the gist of why thumb culture is so appealing to today's youth. Parents Corner aims to provide you with a toolbox to better equip you to make informed parenting decisions when it comes to cellphones. The only way for parents to close the technological generation gap is to use the mobile technology tools that their children use.

To get started, simply go to the topic that most concerns you or visit our blog for our most recent feature article.

Editorial Team

Parents Corner is collaborative educational project between an educational psychologist and a team of mobile industry practitioners.

Editor

Samantha van Putten provides editorial direction for Parents Corner. She is the marketing and communications manager at BulkSMS.com and currently sits on the Mobile Marketing Association Advisory Board. Samantha has many years of experience in the mobile industry, prior to joining BulkSMS.com she worked at MTN Banking.

Feature Writers

Megan Bense is an Honours student from the University of Cape Town with a triple major in Film production, Theory and Media.  She spent time as an intern at BulkSMS.com whereafter she was hired as the communications assistant and now writes content for various platforms including the BulkSMS.com website and ParentsCorner. She has also written for the VARSITY newspaper, Tech Cape Town and Tech Jo'burg. 

Dr Pieter Streicher is the managing director of BulkSMS.com. Pieter regularly writes articles providing advice to consumers and businesses on mobile billing, responsible messaging and the mobile internet. From 2005 - 2009 he sat on the management committee of the Wireless Application Service Provider Association (WASPA), the body that regulates the South African mobile messaging industry. He has also been active in WASPA's CodeCom, the committee that puts in place the Code of Conduct and Adverting Rules for the local mobile industry.

Glen Thompson writes extensively on mobile messaging and has worked on many projects researching the impact of ICTs on society and the economy. He works on the compliance desk at BulkSMS.com and is on the regulations and guideline working group of the Mobile Marketing Association (South African Local Council).

Previous guest bloggers are:

Vanessa Clark is the co-founder of Mobiflock, www.mobiflock.com, a mobile safety and security company offering a suite of services for businesses, individuals and parents. She’s a startup junkie, ran her own public relations agency, is ex-Clickatell and Band-X, and was a London-based telecoms journalist in the olden days before blogs, Facebook and Twitter. She doesn’t like marketing weasel words, but does like people making information flow more easily and safely around the world. She especially likes being in the mobile industry in Africa.

Wilmie van Tonder studied Social Work at Stellenbosch University. She has provided family reunification and foster care services, worked on children's court cases, and run staff wellness and HIV counseling debriefing programmes. Wilmie has five years of experience in her field and works out of FAMSA's George office.

Hannelie Kotze is an Educational Psychologist. Hannelie focuses on children and adolescents, mainly in the area of behavioural problems, teenage depression, learning disorders, school readiness, autistic spectrum disorders, trauma counselling, forensic assessments and play therapy. She has presented talks at conferences, facilitates workshops on parenting, discipline, ADHD and play therapy. Hannelie has 10 years of experience in special education and is now in private practice at Milnerton Medi-Clinic.

Special Thanks to our Sponsor

The Parents Corner information resource is sponsored by BulkSMS.com, a wireless application service provider offering SMS messaging solutions. BulkSMS.com is headquartered in Cape Town, South Africa.

Comments

Unisa youth technology study

Hi there

Dr. Streicher in an interview yesterday on TalkRadio 702 mentioned some statistics from an UNISA study regarding young people and their internet usage and the potential abuses they face.

Is it possible to get a link or reference to this study?

Thanks
Greg

Hi GregThe study is not

Hi Greg

The study is not available online yet. It was conducted by UNISA’s Youth Research Unit, on behalf of Vodacom and the Film and Publications Board. Please email us at editor@parentscorner.co.za, and we will email you a copy of their presentation.

Thanks
Piet

For younger kids - here is a call parents only cellphone

I found this product a while ago. This enables my kid to call me if there is an emergency, but can't call anyone else. Exactly what i need!

http://www.kalahari.net/electronics/Firefly-Cellphone-for-kids/4585/3288...

MxiT

My son is a eighteen year old mxit 'junkie' , i am worried about the ammount of stress that his involvment with the people using this program causes him. To him its all very real, and you cannot get a word in edge ways,he speaks of death threats against him by one user and this user knowing personal info on him that he never could have gotten his hands on.what can i as a parent do to insure his safety?

Reporting cyberbullying

You can report cyberbullying directly to MXit, go to: www.mxit.co.za and click on the Report Abuse link at the bottom of the website.

Other steps you can take are: get your son to change their profile on MXit, encourage him not to engage with strangers in chat rooms, and to only chat with friends. However, if you feel that the matter needs to be reported to the police then do so in the interest of ensuring your child's safety.