In October 2016 the Dorset Safe Schools and Community Team once again visited our school. As always they provided us with some excellent guidance and advice. This hand-out was particularly useful.
The good advice that the UK Safer Internet Centre published is still detailed below.
"Be aware of how long your child spends online and be prepared to intervene if you think it may be too long, particularly at bedtime and in the wee small hours. When you have work the next day, it's easy to go bed thinking everything is OK. Let your child know that you have the wherewithal to limit or monitor their online time... you can do this by:
- Physical monitoring, asking them to come away from the computer or console for a while to help you with things
- Have an internet curfew at an appropriate time
- Learn to change the settings on your router that limit specific devices on your home internet network to certain times. This might take a little research on your part but the feeling of control that you get back is amazing... and will tip the balance in your favour.
- Explore the parental control settings on your child's console... they are getting easier to understand and simpler to access. These can limit time played and adjust access to content. A little knowledge goes a long way.
- If reasoning fails then unplug the router at night and march off to bed with it! Remember ... the OFF switch is your prerogative!
- Your child may come to you for help if things have gone wrong for them online; we know cyberbullying and online issues rise as engagement increases.
- Try to have the right response; one that encourages them to come to you rather than drive it away beyond your control
- Let them know that whatever has happened, you will help them sort it out... even if it may have been their fault
- Be aware of how to report on their behalf e.g. how to report abuse on Facebook. There are some useful websites listed below
Young people's engagement with the online world is both powerful and enabling but like everything else can cause issues when it runs to excess. Help your child navigate this resource safely by being an integral part of it.”