Social Media: A reflection from Penny Harris

Hi everyone,

Over the last few weeks our publisher has been politely suggesting we need to do more on social media.

This made me think about how younger and younger children (as well as their parents and carers) are so influenced by what they are seeing and hearing on all the social media platforms, how bullying through this medium is rife and how children’s feelings of self-worth are governed by the likes and ‘unlikes’ of their friends; how thinking is manipulated by posts that may or may not be telling the truth and how entrenched children have become in this online world.

How can we possibly combat this? How do we assist children to become thinking, caring and discerning adults? How do we, as thinking, caring adults help our children navigate all of this?

There has been much research and articles about this very topic so I am not here to give advice, however the one thing I truly believe after the all the research I have read in developing the Ginnie & Pinney materials, points to the fact that giving children the tools to be more empathetic, more ethical in their decision making and increasing their emotional intelligence will assist children to grow into well-adjusted, clear thinking and successful adults.

According to one academic article from the Harvard School of Education; it is never too early to start children on this trajectory.

With this in mind I just want to point out that in using the Ginnie & Pinney books most effectively requires us, whether a teacher, parent, grandparent or carer to become very familiar with the stories and ensure the children also know them very well. Once this has been established asking the open ended questions from either the Teacher Resource or online at will stimulate children’s thinking and with good guidance, will help them make decisions that are both ethical and empathetic.

Of course this is only a small step in helping children understand the impact they have on others through either their good or bad behaviour, particularly on social media.

We would love to hear what you have to say about this topic on… what else but…social media!! (Ha!)

For more info you may find the articles on this website of interest:,

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