At the age of one, my son could unlock my iPad. By two he was fairly fluent in YouTube. at 3 and a half, he can use a Smart TV more competently than his Gran…and his little sister is catching up fast. He’s never known anything but a life where technology is at his fingertips and I encourage him to take advantage of this and all that he can learn through it – but it is MY responsibility to keep him safe online.
The same way I don’t let him run with scissors, or get in strangers’ cars, or break any of the thousands of common sense rules I apply to his every day life – I have to keep him safe online not just by trusting his good judgement, but by limiting the situations where he has to use his judgement (let’s face it, he’s a toddler, he’d sell our house for a Thomas train). And this is before he’s old enough to have a smartphone or social media account.
Saying ‘I don’t understand this Twitter and Facebook lark’ doesn’t cut it any more than ‘I don’t get this pedestrian crossing lark’. Parents need to take responsibility for their children’s digital lives.
The NSPCC have launched a great ‘in your face’ campaign which highlights how easy it is for a young child to be harmed by sharing more than they should online. With the fantastic title of “I Saw Your Willy”, it’s truly worth a watch:
They have some fantastic guides on their site to help you keep your children safe online. We’ll be posting lots more blogs with helpful tips on keeping kids safe online in the next month, so subscribe or like us on Facebook to see them all.
If you need help, or would like some hands-on training from some real parents with real online experience…come and have a coffee and chat to us.