It may be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what he or she is doing online or who he or she can talk to, but talking regularly, as you would like about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and means that when they have any concerns, they are more likely to come and talk to you.
This can help:
- Reassure them that you care about their lives, both online and offline. Point out that they will use the Internet to research their work and talk to their friends.
- Ask your child to show you what he or she likes to do online or the applications he or she uses so that you can understand.
- Be positive but also open to anything that worries you. You could say "I think this site is very good" or "I'm a little worried about the things I've seen here".
- Ask them if they are worried about anything and let them know that they can come and consult you.
- Ask them about their online friends and how they know they are what they say they are.
- Listen to the reasons why your child wants to use apps or websites that you do not think are appropriate, so you can talk about them with them.
- Ask your child what he or she thinks is right for children of different ages so that they feel involved in making decisions.
For children, online life is real life. It may help to think about how your child would feel about sharing what he or she does online before you talk to him or her.
Some emotions that could be felt are: