There are a countless media stories about the perils of young people being online. Ironically, a lot of these stories are good ‘clickbait’ and give a false sense of what they are actually doing online.
Young people are online earlier these days communicating through many different devices. Even if you don’t live in a ‘connected’ household, they could be accessing the internet with friends or elsewhere.
What being online offers
Being online offers access to research, information and entertainment. It also provides communication opportunities for young people.
No matter how tech-savvy young people are, they may not be aware of some of the pitfalls of certain types of online behaviour. They also may not absorb the consequences of different activities.
Checking in with what they have been doing online in a casual way on a regular basis, can keep you up-to-date. It can also reassure them they can come to you if, or when, they come across something that makes them uncomfortable.
Start having these conversations as early as you can and keep having them. You don’t need to know every detail, but enough to keep up-to-date and know if something has changed.
‘Model’ good behaviour
Parents and guardians sometimes have more influence by their own actions.