No matter how old your children are or how much time they spend on the Internet, you want to make sure that they’re always safe online. Here are some answers to common questions about parenting in the digital age:

84452What tools are available to keep my child safe online?

The following are examples of parental controls you can enable using any number of apps, programs, or device settings:

• Filtering and blocking − limits access to specific websites, words, or images.

• Blocking outgoing content − prevents children from transmitting information online.

• Limiting time − allows limits to be set for how long children are online, and when.

• Monitoring tools − track online activity without blocking access.

How should I talk to my child about inappropriate content online?

While it can be difficult, or even impossible, to protect children from ever being exposed to inappropriate content online, you can take proactive steps to address this issue. Educate yourself and keep the lines of communication open with your children about what is appropriate, and what your expectations are for their safe use of the Internet.

One of the most important things you can teach your children is to come to you or another trusted adult if something inappropriate or upsetting is happening online. Make sure they know that you won’t blame them or get mad. Keep the conversation non-judgmental and reassuring, so that they know you support and trust them.

How can I protect my child from cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a growing problem that requires all of us — including our children – to work together to help put an end to it.

Start with these steps:

• Encourage empathy. Help your child put themselves in someone else’s position, and imagine how they would feel.

• Teach your child to never say something online that they wouldn’t feel comfortable saying to someone’s face (or in front of their grandmother).

• Talk to them about never forwarding humiliating messages, texts or photos.

• Make sure that they know there are things they can do, and resources available, if they become involved in cyberbullying, and that they can always talk to you.

One of the most important things you can do for your children is to be a guide to their online world. GetCyberSafe.ca is a good place to start to learn how.

 

Written by Cleo Neufeld

Cleo Neufeld

Before meeting the love of her life, Cleo was a single mother to a beautiful little girl for many years. She shares her expertise in single parenting, building a relationship, living on a budget and more.