As you may or may not be aware, there is an internet challenge circulating around Snapchat, You Tube and other social media sites, which is encouraging young people to complete tasks, and ultimately to harm themselves, and implying that if they don’t, there will be serious consequences to themselves or their families.
In school, we have discussed internet safety with the children, and talked about keeping themselves safe. We have reassured the children that this video is not true, and is an urban legend. If they are feeling upset or worried they should speak to a teacher, adult in school or a family member.
6 Common sense ways to help keep your child safe on line.
Talk To Your Child
“Only by talking to them, and knowing how to block and report inappropriate content can we start to make a difference, but we have to do our homework,” Jennings writes. If you’re struggling to work out how to have that conversation, look at Thinkuknow. The website is connected to police and CEOP and offers advice that’s targeted appropriately to the age of your child. (Link below)
Take Them Seriously
If your child is scared, it can be counterproductive to dismiss those fears and risk invalidating their feelings. It doesn’t matter if the fear is real or proportionate, if it’s scaring your child, it’s worth listening – really listening. And sometimes, if they feel heard, they’ll feel better. CforCat – a platform dedicated to early childhood development – advises acknowledging their feelings, giving them permission to feel that way and inviting them to discuss what they’re thinking about.
It can be hard keeping up with which app, game or social messaging service your kids are using. If you want the latest on the latest technology, consider checking out parentzone – the experts on family digital life. There are sections ranging from explaining the game Fortnite, to what game age ratings really mean and how to achieve a digital detox.
Make Informed Decisions
If you care about gender stereotyping, or want to weed out content that depicts violence or bad language, check out Common Sense Media. It watches online media and content for you, and provides advice, reviews and trigger warnings. (Link below)
Report Any Serious Risk of Harm
Take a look at the CEOP online safety centre. You can make a report to one of CEOP’s Child Protection Advisors if you are worried about online sexual abuse, or the way someone has been communicating with your child online. (Link below)