The internet is undeniably a very beneficial creation, helping us stay connected with people all around the world, and allowing us to learn new information we might otherwise not have access to. However, it can also be very dangerous when used irresponsibly, which is why it’s so important for parents to discuss internet safety with their kids. You might not know where to start, which is why I’ve teamed up with an independent school in London to offer you some guidance.
Most kids nowadays have access to a technological device. With that said, you should start by chatting to your child about which apps and websites they are most likely to use. Don’t shut them down immediately; instead, go away and do some research about everything your child mentioned and figure out if you think they are safe and age appropriate.
If not, be prepared to explain why when telling your child you are not comfortable with them going on that particular website or using a particular app. They might be upset at first, but if you explain some of your concerns and the dangers involved, they will hopefully start to understand.
When it comes to internet use, you should always lay out some very clear rules. For instance, never share private information online; never meet up with someone you’ve online spoken to online; never say mean things to others over the internet; never share inappropriate photos online, etc. You might even want to set some rules about where and when your child can have access to the internet so that you have a little bit more control over the situation.
Unfortunately, if your child has access to the internet, you won’t be able to 100% monitor what they are doing. There are lots of parental controls on most digital devices, but most of the time you’ll just need to rely on trust that you have raised a child who makes smart, sensible decisions.