Have you got a pre teen?

Welcome to the third in a series of blogs featuring advice from a new eSafety awareness campaign for parents – Internet Matters.

Today the spotlight is on 10-13 year old digital natives, born into the digital world, naturally using digital devices with a confidence that can be unnerving to adults.
Some facts:

  • 45% of parents whose children has a Facebook profile didn’t know the minimum age was 13
  • 25% children age 11-12 who have a profile on social networking have had an upsetting experience on it.
  • 26% of 10-13’s use the internet for 3 or more hours a day

Ofcom Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report (Oct 2013) p.88, Figure 58
Younger children and social networking sites: a blind spot (NSPCC 2013)
Cybersafe Opinion Leader Report (Sept 2013)

Internet Matters have a helpful checklist of how you can support your child:

Put yourself in control: Activate parental controls or safe settings on your home broadband, all devices including mobile phones and games consoles, and use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google (and other search engines).

Have free and frank discussions: Encourage your child to talk to you about how they use the internet and show you what they do. Discuss with them the kinds of things they might come across. A good time to talk is when they get a new device or mention a new website.

Manage their devices: Keep the family computer in a communal area such as the living room or kitchen and set up a user account for your child. If you think they aren’t old enough to have a mobile phone or tablet, stay firm and explain the reasons why.

Have an agreement: Agree and set boundaries with them or have a family contract for their internet use, including when and where they can use portable devices and for how long, before they get used to doing their own thing.

Check age ratings: The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the age limit is 13 for several social networking sites including Facebook and Instagram.

Start discussions about social networking early: Talk to children about the benefits and risks of social networking before they join any sites. Let them know that anything they upload, email or message could stay around forever online.

This is sound advice to put into practice straight away (if you haven’t already).


Leave A Reply