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Conversation starters

Safe use of technology can seem like a difficult topic to begin with your child, but by opening the conversation it will help encourage your child to see it is a normal part of life to talk to you about what they are doing online. Download or print our handy 5 things we need to talk about at home guide for parents or start with some of the simple examples below. The aim is to make it very normal for you and your children to be talking about what they see, hear and do online

Six ideas for conversation starters

1. Talk about what they like doing.

Talk about what they like doing online, e.g. what apps they use, what games they play or which YouTubers they follow.

2. Ask what they see that they worry about online.

Ask what they see that they worry about online and what they would do if something made them feel upset or worried.

3. Ask them for their top tips for staying safe online.

Ask your child to give you their top tips for how to stay safe online. This can help gauge their knowledge but also open the door to discussing these ideas further.

4. Go through the privacy settings for their apps

For every social media / messaging app or game that they use, get them to show you the privacy settings (e.g. the options that set out who can see their photos or follow their games) and how they would report or block someone or something that makes them uncomfortable or upset.

5. Talk about what information is OK to share

Talk about what information they think is okay to share and what is not okay to share (e.g. full name, email, address, passwords). Discuss what they might consider before sharing photos, and what kind of photos they like to share most.

6. Ask them for help

Ask your child to help you do something online, e.g. change the privacy settings on your social media account, search for information on something or download an app.

Research the services your child uses.

Stay informed

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?

Use these helpful resources to stay informed.