Launching Kids On Track on facebook this week has brought to the front of our minds the questions we are regularly by parents of teenagers that we are consulting with or during parenting workshops workshops. In the world we live in with the dependence on technology, we find that it is almost impossible to not have questions in these settings relating to online safety. For this week's blog, we are sharing our top 5 tips to navigating these concerns:
1) Before your child has an online prescence ( facebook, twitter, instagram, even email) make sure you have chatted to them about internet safety and what is and is not appropriate to share. At the same time, you should ensure that any shared computers in your house have age appropriate filters.
2) Make sure you have discussed with your child what privacy settings you are comfortable with as a parent and ask them to respect it.
3) As parents, it can be difficult to keep up with your children in terms of technology but it can help if you are also on the networking sites that they are! Whilst your child may be nervous of being embarassed by being your " friend" on facebook - it can be a fun way to communicate with your child when you work out what they are comfortable with you seeing!
4) Gone are the times when a child's only access to social media was through a shared computer at home - many teenagers today are using smart phones with 24/7 access. Many families have reported HUGE benefits in having technology free times in their houses when their children are expected to be involved with family time or focused on something else.
5) This sounds the most obvious but we have been asked several times if it is ok. There are obvious dangers for your child / teenager to meet someone who they only know from online... If you don't know who they are meeting, and don't want to not allow them to go; ask if you can go with them and observe from a distance.
Hoping this helps to keep your families safe online
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!