As summer holidays approach now is a good time to be talking to children about their online world; but sometimes this can be a challenge!
The internet is can be a magical place. It’s full of exciting things to discover and is integral to children’s lives. But while they seem to know what they’re doing, sometimes their parents don’t. The NSPCC highlights four basic tips to help parents and others working with children begin to talk about a child’s online life:-
Explore – Research and understand the apps, games and sites your child uses and get to know your child’s online world better.
Talk – Chat to your child about their online world, just as you’d ask about their day at school
Agree – Set out the family rules to live well online. Discuss and agree ground rules this might include agreeing a time when the internet is switched off; make sure you’re a good role model
Manage – Make the technology work for you. Adapt privacy settings and use parental controls where necessary
The NSPCC also provides a range of resources that can help parents, teachers and other practitioners encourage children to be safe online:-
- Teaching materials for schools – PHSE accredited lesson plans for KS2
- Free Share Aware leaflets for schools – helping parents keep children safe on social networks. Or you can download the guide
- Net Aware site and newsletter – ensuring you’re up to date with the latest developments online
- SHARE AWARE campaign which encourages conversations between parents and their children about online safety issues
- O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline – providing personalised support for parents on privacy settings, new sites and apps and general advice on 0808 8005002 and also available through live chat
- Net Aware – our popular guide to the 50 sites, apps and games used by young people; it’s available as an app or parents can sign up for the newsletter for regular updates
- Guru appointment – whether an O2 customer or not, you can book an in-store appointment with an O2 Guru to get advice and support on making family devices safe for children – book here
- Advice and guidance – our website has a wide range of information on anything from sexting and cyber bullying to porn and parental controls
This week Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) have launched a new public awareness campaign, ‘The world changes. Children don’t’ aimed at parents and carers. The campaign highlights the need to talk to children about sex, relationships and the internet. It has lots of useful information about talking to children about nude selfies, online pornography and where to get help.
Bolton Safeguarding Children Board also has a number of useful resources if you are worried about a child’s online world, and these can be accessed here