With students returning to school online, it’s becoming more common for even those children who generally have limited technology time to spend hours on their computers every day. While they are largely under the supervision of parents and guardians, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t safety conversations that need to happen. It’s now quite important for parents to start talking to their school-age children about online safety even when they are in class.
Do Some Research
If you’re going to talk to your children about online safety, it’s best to start by educating yourself. The online space is much different than it was even ten years ago, so you need to know exactly how things work and what your child can expect to experience. Take a look at the popular social media platforms as well as the tools that your children use to go online so that you’re familiar with the basics of their online worlds.
Ask Them Questions
If your children are already online, try to ask them about their experiences. Talk about the ways they use online tools in school and how they interact with their peers. While not every child will be entirely forthcoming, this is a great way to start a dialog. Rather than talking about entirely theoretical situations, you can start your discussions by talking about those things that your children are actually likely to experience.
It is natural to want to keep your children safe, but you shouldn’t overstate the dangers of interacting with others online. Instead, you should talk to them about things like how to keep their data safe and making sure to limit the personal information they share with strangers. The more honest you are with your concerns and the possibilities of what could happen, the more likely your children will be to listen.