Next week, Tuesday, 7 February is Safer Internet Day. This is to remind us we all have a responsibility to be good digital citizens and make the internet a space space.
Where do you start when it seems that young people are online, attached to their phones, all the time?
Parents we’ve worked with have concerns around the fact that they don’t know what is going on for their sons and daughters online and don’t understand the space.
Communication about online safety should be ongoing. What your daughter or son was doing online last year may not be the same right now.
A new online game. or a new social network and this could mean a new sets of online friends they’re talking to all the time. You do need to know about this and understand the world they occupy.
Discussing the implications of online behaviour on a regular basis is important too.
Make young people aware once an image or video is online, it is out there. It can no longer be controlled as to where it goes and who sees it.
High profiles cases of cyberbullying can cause a lot of concern for parents. Read more about cyberbullying, what it is and what you can do about it.
Make a point of having regular open conversations with your son or daughter about what they think is appropriate, for example:
Keeping communication open with your son or daughter means you can ask them to teach you about technology.
You will find it difficult to curtail the amount of personal content your son or daughter shares, or the amount of time they spend online if it’s something you do a lot. There are plenty of parents who are overly attached to their phones or ipads.
We all need to learn to ‘switch off’, literally and metaphorically, so make it habit to be device free at stages in the day, to talk face-to-face.