How Can I Talk To My Child About Internet Safety?
E-safety in primary schools is now an essential part of a student’s education. Teaching internet safety for kids at an early age can help prevent students coming across upsetting content.
But what about when children are using the internet at home? No matter how careful we are around internet safety it’s possible children can come across upsetting content online.
So what is the best way to approach talking to a child if they do come across upsetting content?
There are different reasons why they may have come across this content: They may be curious about a subject, they may have been sent a link to a website by another older child, they may even stumble across material accidentally while looking for something else.
What do I do if my child finds disturbing content online?
· Let them know that telling you about it was the right thing to do.
· Try not to overreact by taking away their tablet or laptop. This could result in them not telling you if it happens again.
· Let them know that their feelings are normal. If they feel scared or upset, let them know this is a normal response.
· Let them know it’s not their fault.
· Try to avoid placing blame on them.
· Reassure them and acknowledge their feelings.
How do I talk to my child about upsetting content online?
Encourage an open discussion about the content. Let them ask questions if they have any. What you talk about will depend on the kind of content they came across.
If the content is real such as pornography or hate sites, it can be usually to explain the social context around these sites. For example, explaining that pornography is not a realistic representation of human relationships. It can often be exaggerated and violent.
Sometimes the upsetting content can be fake. It could include made up stories or images that have been altered. If the content was modified visually, it can help to explain how this is done. Even providing a demonstration of how images cane be changed and altered with your own software can be useful. Explain that these images do not represent reality.
Even before your child comes across any upsetting content, it can be helpful to start an open conversation about e-safety. Let them know the internet is a big place, and there are things that can be upsetting. Encourage them to come and talk to you if they ever come across any unexpected words or pictures in future.
OpenView Education provide free resources for teaching Relationships and Sex Education. We also provide Drama based internet safety workshops and e-safety workshops for KS1 & KS2. Find out more here or for more information give us a call on 07597 984841.