At school the Internet is mostly used to support teaching and learning. At home, however, it is often used differently. Not only is it a study resource for students, but it is increasingly being used as a social space to meet, play and chat. The Internet can be lots of fun.
If you have the Internet at home, encourage your child to show you what they are doing online. If not, see if you can make a time to visit the school to see their work.
At home we recommend you:
- make some time to sit with your child to find out how they are using the Internet and who else is involved in any online activities
- have the computer with Internet access in a shared place in the house – not your child’s bedroom
- ask questions when your child shows you what they are doing, such as:
- how does it work and how do you set it up?
- who is else is sharing this space or game – did you know them before or “meet” them online?
- why is this so enjoyable – what makes it fun?
- can you see any risks or dangers in the activity – what would you say to warn/inform a younger child?
- what are you doing to protect yourself or your friends from these potential dangers?
- when would you inform an adult about an incident that has happened online that concerns you? Discuss why your child might keep it to themselves.
Statistics show that students will not approach an adult for help because:
- they might get the blame for any incident
- they don’t think adults “get” their online stuff – it is for students only
- they might put at risk their own access to technology by either:
- admitting to a mistake or
- highlighting a situation that might lead a parent to ban their access.
For parents seeking further advice to support your child in online environments please refer to the iparent website.