The internet is wonderful for many reasons. It can be used as a research/learning tool, a communication platform, and a source of entertainment. However, the internet also comes with a lot of risks, particularly for those who are naïve of the dangers lurking behind the screen. With this in mind, it’s important for parents to talk to their children about internet safety to protect them from any potential possibilities. I have teamed up with a prep school in Middlesex to share some advice on how to broach the topic of internet safety with your child.
Talk About the Internet Regularly
Internet safety isn’t a conversation you should have with your child once and then forget about, it’s something you should continually bring up to reiterate the safety rules and potential risks. Of course, how much information you choose to disclose to your child will depend on their age, but its certainly important to have some form of conversation with them so that they feel more comfortable.
Ask them which types of websites and apps they like to use and do your research on the age restrictions and possible dangers. Establish some rules about what they should and shouldn’t be doing online and let them know that they can come to you should they need to. Try to be reassuring; make sure they know you have a genuine interest in their life rather than treating it as a lecture or an interview.
Try to Avoid Judgement
If your child comes to you with an admission of something they have done or seen online, don’t be hard on them or express judgement. Doing so will make them fearful of coming to you again in the future. Instead, take a breather and tackle the issue later so that your emotions don’t get in the way of the message you want to relay to your child when giving them advice.
Remind your child of your family values, like being kind to others, being honest, and not sharing personal information with others or talking to strangers.