It is clearly evident how important the internet is to children at home – they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves. It’s a highly creative place of amazing opportunities and an excellent learning tool. However, the technology children use every day can seem complicated at times and you may worry about the risks your child can face online – such as cyber-bullying, contact from strangers or the possibility of them seeing or hearing illegal or inappropriate content.
Creating a comfortable environment and creating a place for dialogue to discuss any of these issues is a great starting point, a child knowing they can approach you about these issues is more likely to speak out about them. To support you with this here are a few things you can do:
- Ask your children to tell you about the sites they like to visit and what they enjoy doing online.
- Ask them about how they stay safe online? What tips do they have for you, and where did they learn them? What is OK and not OK to share?
- Ask them if they know where to go for help, where to find the safety advice, privacy settings and how to report or block on the devices and apps/games that they use.
- Encourage them to help. Perhaps they can show you how to do something better online or they might have a friend who would benefit from their help and support.
- Think about how you use the internet as a family. What could you do to get more out of the internet together and further enjoy your lives online?
For further help, Here are some conversation starter ideas from www.childnet.com
To try and help parents with the fast moving and changing world of internet and social media, we’ve suggested a few internet resource sites, with excellent resources that contain information on different types of social media and how to help keep children safe.
Childnet also produce a leaflet for parents which can be downloaded here.
Internet Safety Resources:
There is a great new online safety tool designed for parents launched by the Department for Education called Parent Info. It has advice on everything from keeping children safe from online trolls to WhatsApp – a guide for parents.
If you would like more information on how to keep your child safe when they are using a mobile device, Smartphone safe is a great online tool for this.
Childnet is a great website resource for parents and children on online safety.
Internet Matters is another great site to use – it has advice on cyberbullying, how to talk to your children about internet safety and easy guides to different types of social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. You can visit their page below.
Here are links to some very helpful websites that may answer any queries or support:
DofE advice for parents on cyberbullying here
DofE online parents support website called Parent Info here