We know that many children and young people spend lots of time online, this past year more than most.
And with so many great resources out there, it’s a good idea to support them and make sure they are making the most of their time spent online.
The internet is a great resource, it’s invaluable for letting them connect with friends, learn, play games, be creative and watch content across many different platforms.
‘Important to do what is right for family’
Understanding what your child likes to do online is not only a good first step in helping to keep them safe, but can also be useful in helping them manage how they spend time on their favourite device.
There’s no set amount of time your child should or shouldn’t spend online, and it’s important to do what’s right for your family.
Although it’s worth bearing in mind that helping your child to experience a range of different activities will, in turn, help them develop new skills and good online
habits as they get older.
Ask for demo of how apps work
Net Aware website, co-created with O2, we have put together some questions to help you talk about each of these different category types with your own children.
By categorising in this way, it will help provide you with an overview of how they like to spend their time online and get to know some of the apps, sites and games they use a little better.
Once you have an understanding of the categories, our site has lots of great advice in talking with your child about any potential concerns there may be, such as talking to strangers via live chats in the connecting category.
It’s a good idea to find out what your child’s favourite apps are, and ask them to give you a demo of how it works.
This provides you with the chance to familiarise yourself with the app, and the
opportunity to ask questions about it.
Speak about privacy settings
You can then talk about privacy settings and safety tools, which will help keep them safe while they’re using it.
Once you’ve talked through what they like to do online, you may want to use our Family Agreement template to create some online rules together.
Make sure to use the insight you’ve gathered to help shape these agreements, keep them updated as your family life changes and stick them somewhere the whole family can see them too.
For more information on keeping your child safe online, go to the Net Aware site.
If a child or young person sees something that upsets them online, Childline is here, free and confidentially, on 0800 1111 or visit the website here.