If your child comes to you with a concern, the most important thing is to remain calm and reassure them that they’ve done the right thing by talking to you. If you suspect, or find out from someone else that your child is dealing with a worrying situation online, let them know that sharing it with you is the first step to resolving the issue.
When dealing with an online concern raised by your child, try to:
If you are feeling shocked, angry or worried, it’s likely that your child is feeling worse, but reacting that way may close down the conversation and lead your child to believe that they are to blame.
It’s okay if you are unsure what to do next, the important thing is to let your child know you are there for them. There is a lot of further support out there to help you decide on your next steps.
You may be able to report what has happened to the online service being used when the incident occurred. Evidence may include screen shots taken on a laptop or mobile device, emails, texts or online conversation histories.
Knowing who to report to is a really useful step to resolving many issues, so try to familiarise yourself with the reporting, blocking or moderating settings available on the services your child is using. Depending on what has happened, it might be necessary to let your child’s school know too, or other agencies such as the police.
Have you got restricted settings on your tablet, phone, broadband, even your Smart TV?
Parents/carers, teachers, anyone supporting the learning of children today need to ensure they are up-to-date with new technologies and actively look for resources to help ensure that children are using technology, including the internet, safely. Parental controls are designed to help you protect your children from inappropriate content they may come across when they use the internet. It is important that you are aware of what your children are accessing when they use computers, tablets or mobile phones. The following websites and links below provides more information about how you can set up parental controls so that you can limit access to age appropriate content, set usage times and monitor activity on your personal devices. There are resources for parents, pupils and teachers which you may find useful for keeping your child safe online when they are accessing technology at home.
Net Aware - https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
Internet Matters - https://www.internetmatters.org/