Start the conversation
The important thing is that it becomes a normal part of life to be talking with your children about what they are doing online, i.e. what is fun, what can go wrong and how they would cope with it. Just as in real life, talk to them about what is okay and not okay to do online. Encourage them to look after their friends. Get them to show you how to do something. Kids love being smarter than grown-ups. We have some ideas below for conversation starters. Start the conversation now. Don’t wait until there is a problem.
Do your research
What should you do if your child comes to you asking to set up a social media or messaging account or to play a specific game online? Often peer pressure is a motive but on the other hand, saying no may be counterproductive if they go behind your back and then won’t come to you if there is a problem. Whatever your decision, be informed. Research the app or game
Follow our Facebook page for regular guidance on risks and safety settings and more.
For more help, view our full list of useful articles and websites.
Get stuck in
If you do decide to allow your child to use a particular app or game, then make sure that you get involved. You could agree that you download and set it up together, making the most of any privacy settings etc. Agree basic ground rules, e.g. not accepting friend requests from strangers and always keep an eye on what they are doing and saying online. Make it clear they can always come to you if anything makes them upset or worried.
Download and print our Family Agreement to help you agree and remind the family of the rules for using the Internet.