Tuesday 11th February 2020
Safer Internet Day - a simple guide for parents/carers
Let's create an internet where we are....
- Free to talk
Talk regularly with your child about how they use technology. Find out how they like to represent and express themselves online, and how being online makes them feel. Listening to your child will give you the best possible idea of how you can support them. Not sure where to begin? Have a look at our suggested 'Conversation Starters' for parents and carers.
Free to explore differences
The internet is a place where lots of different people can communicate and come together. For some children, the first place they see people who are different to them may be online. For others, the internet may be the one place where they can find people similar to them. Acknowledge the different types of identities your child may see online, and use these to spark discussions around diversity and inclusivity. Talk to your child about being respectful to everyone online, and what to do if they feel their own identity is being targeted. Use our 'Quick Activities' as a family this Safer Internet Day to help you unpick this topic together.
Free to make the internet work for your family
There are lots of tools to help you manage the devices used by your family. For example, knowing how to activate and use parental controls can help protect your child from seeing inappropriate content online. For advice and guidance on how to make use of parental controls and other safety features on devices, check out our free Parents' Guide to Technology.
Free to get involved
As parents and carers, it’s natural to feel worried about the risks posed by your child being online, but for young people the internet offers a wealth of exciting and fun ways to explore and experiment with their identity. This might be through the characters they choose on games, the filters or emojis they use on profile pictures, the content they share, or the sites and services they use. Spend some time with your child looking at, or interacting with, the things they do online. Talk about both the positive and negative aspects of being online, and empower your child with safe choices they can make - instead of overwhelming them with restrictions.
Free to seek help and support
It can sometimes feel like young people are the experts in all things digital but remember – you are the life experts. Find out how to get more support by visiting Childnet's 'Need Help?' page. You can take steps to support your child online by using features such as privacy settings on social media and understanding how to make a report on a range of apps, games and services.
Just as we tell young people to talk about what they are unsure of, make sure you do too! Chances are that you’ll find other parents or carers who are trying to figure out how to make the internet work for their family! You don’t need to know all the answers straightaway but reassure your child that you can figure it out together. Maybe there isn’t an answer, but what your child is looking for is comfort.
Much more information is available via various sites including Safer Internet Centre