The Parent Project

Task 6: Harmful communication

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Managing safety online

The Internet can be an inspiring and wonderful place, with endless opportunities for education and entertainment. But as we are all aware, the Internet also comes with risks and dangers. The good news is that there are ways you can manage the risks with a little bit of initial set up time, and the occasional dollop of classic parenting.

For Task 6, we asked our Parent Project families to focus on how to avoid exposure to harmful content and how to deal with it when it does happen.

    Safety first:

    • Make sure you have safety controls set up. This guide will help you setup different devices.
    • Install a ‘safety button’ plugin. There is some great software out there, such as Hector’s World Safety Button™ recommended by Google for younger kids. Pressing the safety button if they see something that upsets them activates an underwater themed screensaver, commends them for making that choice, then prompts them to let a parent know.
    • Be transparent about the dangers online. It’s important to be open and honest about the dangers online. This way, kids know what to look out for.

    What if kids see something they don’t like?

    • Have an action plan in place. If something does happen, it’s good for kids to have an idea about how to let a parent know. Digital contracts are great for setting expectations, and having upfront discussions with your kids about what to do if they see something that upsets them. For more info on how to deal with harmful content, check out our article https://digi-parenting.co.nz/staying-safe/harmful-content/.
    • Let them know it’s not their fault. This is especially important for younger kids: It is important they know they will not be blamed when they end up in places they didn’t intend, which will help keep communication lines open.

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