Dot.common sense: How to stay smart and safe online by Ben Hubbard.

Have you been concerned about the prospect of your child delving into the unknown world of the internet alone?

The use of social media, digital footprints and you tube videos is something that we cannot avoid; so it’s time to pick up your child and that cup of tea and together read this book!

Dot.Common sense is a great way to engage your child in conversations about being safe online.

Walking through different aspects of the online world are two children – Olivia and Sam. Along the way they come across cyber bullies, trolls and viruses but they also learn about the positives of the internet – information gathering, linking with friends after school and educational games.

As they travel through different aspects of the internet, they learn about the importance of boundary setting before anything online has begun. Page 13 gives parents and carers a great list to go through with your child that they will need to adhere to if they are to use the internet and all within it!

Talking to your child about the concept of forever is important as well as the idea that not everyone online is your friend – even if they make it out that they are.

Online etiquette is also a focus of this book and children will learn the importance of treating everyone with respect even if they don’t know the person. So many young people fall into the trap of cyber- bullying as it is very easy to say things behind an avatar – but as we are too well aware, these simple words can form tidal waves in young people’s lives.

Dot.Common sense is a book to read slowly with your child. Stop after each chapter and have a discussion, talk about scenarios and set boundaries together.

The quiz at the end of the book is a fun way to go over what has been learnt and something to revisit when the time arises.

Dot.Common Sense is a book that every child should read before they head into the online world so that they are safe and they ensure that others are safe too.

So what can you do at home? 

 – Create your own rules for online use at home.

– Look at how you all use the internet and see if there is a way you can use it better so that you all remain safe online.

– Discuss ways the internet is beneficial and how those sites could be used more regularly over sites that can cause harm.

– Revisit this book from time to time and work through the different topic areas so that everyone has a clear understanding of how to act online.


Global Guardian Project -> E-capsule reviews!

Need to inspire your young family? Or students? 


Want to teach your children about other countries? amazing animals and how they can be activists even under the age of ten?


Check out the Global Guardian Project, a great monthly subscription that allows you to walk through different topics with your children or class by reading, drawing, writing, viewing and meditating.


If you want to join use my discount code: GGPVanessa for a 10% discount.

Here are some reviews I have done of some excellent modules.


Global Guardian Project

Have you heard of the Global Guardian Project?  This project is something I recently stumbled across and has been something I have been thinking about for a while – how can I help parents empower their children?

The Global Guardian project is the answer.


Each month they release a new module which focuses on a variety of topics that help families to be inspired and empowered to make differences in their world.

Perhaps you too want to raise children who do care for the planet more than perhaps we have or our own parents have. We want to give them the tools so they can stand up and make a difference!

The Global Guardian Project is another tool you can use at home to create positive habits, learn new facts and challenge each other to become more creative and critical thinkers.


I will be reviewing several capsules in my blog and I invite you to read these reviews and think about becoming a Global Guardian member.

So how much does it cost?

The wonderful part of the GGP is that you can choose how much you want to spend. You can nominate from as little as $6.99 a month to $12.99 a month.

How do I become a member?

If you sign up through my blog and use my code you will receive a 10% discount on any membership that you choose.

Ready to sign up?

Discount code: GGPVanessa

Sign up link:

Hope to see you in the GGP group soon!

Pyjamas and books

Reading a book in pyjamas is a wonderful thing. Cotton, wool or some mixture of fabric, pyjamas are a sign to slow down, relax and read.

But where are your pyjamas from? Who made them? And what are they made from?

As someone who lives in a developed nation I have access to a lot of fast fashion and having two kids – this fast fashion has been a first choice of mine for many reasons

– It is cheap

– It is easy to find

– It will last as long as I need it as children grow so fast.

But it is time to stop.

It is time to stop using fast fashion brands whose produce is creating more harm than good through one use items of clothing, harmful chemicals in the fabrics and mistreatment of the workers who create the clothes in developing nations.

There is a wonderful app called Good On you and this has been a great educational tool for me when I have been at the shops or online. It is free and definitely worth the download.

But moving back to our pyjamas.

Cotton pyjamas are a sure sign of summer and the smell of summer is in the air so I have jumped online and bought some divine pyjamas from Eternal Creation.

This company is based in Dharamsala in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas and supports 50 workers who lovingly create each item of clothing. These workers are treated fairly and work in a space that is fun. They create beautiful clothes, send them straight to your door and have an easy to use website.

But remember – If you can’t afford to buy new pyjamas the next best option (which we love doing) is going to op shops and also pairing up with friends and swapping clothes around.

Next time you are searching for something comfortable to read in at night time – try something that is made of natural fabric, supports local communities and works with the natural environment. You’ll be winning all the way to bed!

Need some tips on how to teach your child about fair trade clothing? Try this – teaching your child about fair trade clothing.

The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

Do you constantly check your phone for updates? Do you text at the dinner table? Do you tell your kids to wait a minute while you see what the latest is on instagram? Do you feel special when you get more than ten likes?

Sound like you?  You need to read this book!



The fabulous friend machine by Nick Bland is a story about a chicken (see my next post on backyard chooks!) who becomes addicted to her phone. She was once quite social with her real friends, talking, laughing and playing BUT she discovers a phone and falls in love with the screen and the instant gratification it brings!

I am sure many of us are at fault with this – we seek gratification, envy online pictures and strive to be the perfect person that those online friends seem to be. BUT really, does anyone have a life that is perfect? Is anyone really the most perfect friendly friend with no strings attached?

As parents we need to take a good hard look at how we use computers and the role we are portraying to our children – no matter what age.

We need our children to have a healthy relationships with their phone, i pad or computer and with the people that live online. We need to teach them that friends in person mean more, interaction with others mean more and real face to face conversations mean so much more.

Technology definitely has a place in our society but we have to be a lot more careful as to how we use it and how we allow our children to use it.

So what can you do?

  1. Make sure you have screen free time – turn off your notification so you only receive phone calls and text messages – no updates from social media.
  2. Take a step back from the people you follow online and notice that perhaps they can do those things because of extra resources, time or money. Do not compare yourself to people you don’t really know.
  3. Investigate the different social media options with your child – see what works best for them and tighten the privacy.
  4. Learn how to discern between appropriate and truthful information online. This is really important for future use when researching but also important when they are creating role models for themselves.
  5. Make sure your children use technology in a place where the screen can be seen from a young age. If you get into this habit from a young age it build up the relationship you have with your child and their technology use. As teenagers they will want to retreat into the privacy of their room so set up boundaries know so they know how to use technology when they don’t want your eyes around!
  6. Limit screen time!!! The more you give them as a young child, the more they will want as they grow up. Allow them to be bored. Allow them to play outside. See my blog on nature play to help with some tips here.


Find out what happens if you become too entrenched in the online world of many tricks.