How to talk to your kids about the internet

There’s no single thing you can do to keep your child safe from cyberbullying, but there are some handy tips on how to talk to them about it. Here are ten.

Start a conversation

Find out which apps or websites are popular with young people in your area. Start by asking your kid in order to kick-start a conversation about his or her life on the web.

Be aware

Do your own research and make yourself familiar with how different social apps are used. This will make it easier to know where the risks are for your child.

Be open

Trust your child if he or she asks for help. It may be difficult or embarrassing for them to open up, so make them feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

Listen

It’s important for your child to feel heard, so listen closely to what they are saying. Don’t jump immediately to solutions, which may go against a parent’s natural instinct.

Don’t dismiss problems just because they’re online

The online world is still real. Just because your child’s problems are occurring in cyber space, doesn’t make it any less painful or emotional.

Find solutions, together

Your child needs to be part of the solution. Involve them in how you plan to handle the situation.

Stay calm

It’s easy to get emotionally charged if your child is distressed. Remain in control and think rationally before you act.

Be supportive

Aim to revive confidence and self-esteem in your child. This goes beyond just stopping the bullying. Continue to support them and communicate with them after it seems solved to you.

Get advice from others

Learn about the virtual realities of your child’s world. Talk to other parents and familiarize yourself with how others have handled different situations.

Stay alert and aware

Maybe you’ve dealt with the issue and moved on, but now it’s more important than ever that you continue to talk to your child, follow-up on any issues and stay aware of what they are doing, staying, hearing and experiencing when on the internet.