Using the Internet Safely

Now my eldest is nine and has his first (very basic)
mobile phone I want him to be more aware of the dangers of being on the
Internet. He has parental controls in
place and is not signed up to any social media sites (many of his friends
already have their own instagram accounts) so we are being careful. But I can’t cover him in cotton wool
forever, its better to be aware of the risks of being online. It’s time to have that talk.

At the moment he is not
interested in having his own accounts, he just wanted a phone so I would let
him play out occasionally without me hovering by his side! But as the years slide by and he gets closer
to his teens I am sure we will be entering a whole new minefield when he might
be attracted to girls rather than think they are bleurgh and want to interact
online with them. So instead of putting
it off I think its better to educate him now, hopefully he will then be more likely to come to me if he has a problem.

I am also going to direct my son to
the Thinkuknow site so he can learn to navigate the Internet safely. Children can play games and get further
information to become savvier when they are online from the ages of 5 through
to 14+. They can learn that not
everyone using the Internet is nice and what steps they can take to protect
themselves, like never using their real name or listing their address. Least if you have had the chat you can put
ground rules in place for acceptable behaviour online and illustrate the risky ones
to avoid!

Thinkuknow have also made a
modern day Romeo and Juliet film you can watch below which shows the part technology
and social media can play in the saga.

I think it’s commendable that Thinkuknow really want
to raise awareness of the importance of taking to your child about sex,
relationships and the Internet. It’s
much better if you are approachable so your child will open up to you about
what is going on in their lives, sadly when they don’t like these two star
crossed lovers things don’t always turn out well. It might not be the easiest conversation to have but there is
always plenty of support available on the Thinkuknow website to guide
parents in the right direction.

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