Growing up online

In my last blog I talked about the importance of talking daily to children about their online interests and experiences. Yes, I know it’s hard when you are in the middle of having a shower and your child bursts into the bathroom to tell you they just scored a ‘goal of the season’ on FIFA 15 shouting “Look Mummy, look, you’ve got to see this replay!” or you’ve just climbed up a stepladder and are leaning over precariously to snip that last bit of vine and they’re bursting to tell you that they are over the moon to have progressed to the ‘harder level’ in Terraria but I tell myself that I have to show that I’m interested and pleased for them as I would with their offline experiences. I need to keep the dialogue open for when they’re not happy about something online.
One element of my job that I really love is delivering Growing Up Online workshops to parents with their children.

70% parents look to their child’s school for advice about internet safety
Cybersafe Opinion Leader Report 2013

So, I lead these sessions in schools. It is an entertaining, interactive afternoon on a serious subject for children aged 4-14 for approx. 90 minutes. The first half parents are with their children exploring their online attitudes and behaviours. They listen to their children talking and watch them using their digital devices, identifying risks and negative attitudes and behaviours. They go onto learn appropriate social media etiquette ending with the key messages to stay safe online. Children then return to class and we then explore issues further with parents and show them how they can set up their parental settings at home to make their home and all devices family safe.

This is some of the feedback I get:

Brilliant. Very informative. Exactly what I needed to know was answered without me having to ask a single question.

A very, valuable talk. I will now go home and take more interest in my children’s gaming world – saying “I’m not interested/don’t understand,” isn’t good enough.

If you would like to know how to set your internet settings at school and on all your children’s digital devices then take a look at this easy to use interactive guide.

Until next time…


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