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Children and teens may relish the freedom to explore the internet, but that freedom may feel scary to parents. Adults are more aware of the risks that young people face online. Having open talks about your child's digital life on a regular basis can help your child stay safer. Here are some tips for talking about online behaviour.
Explain that any photos, videos, and comments your child posts could stay there forever. And other people could share or misuse them. Some people have lost jobs or university scholarships because of things they posted when they were young. Urge your child to think twice before sharing anything personal online.
Explain that people can make fake profiles and pretend to be someone they're not. Sometimes adults do this to contact children.
Online bullying includes sending or posting mean or harmful content about someone. Ask your child to think about how they would feel if this happened to them. Teach them to treat others with respect. And discuss what they can do if they see or experience online bullying. For example, you could encourage them not to respond or comment on hurtful posts. They may also be able to report these posts to the host site.
Help them think about how to deal with unwanted attention, such as requests for personal information or photos. This might include blocking the person and telling you or another trusted adult.
It's important to get your child's input on a plan. Kids are more likely to obey the rules if they feel they've been heard and treated fairly.
Parents often discuss internet use with their children when they're young but stop as they get older. Teens need guidance too. Show an interest in their online activities. And be open to listening to any concerns they might have.
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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