When opening the conversation with your child start with positives, finding out as much as you can about what your child does online and what it means to them.
Things you could try:
Ask your child to show you their favourite websites, apps and social media services and what they do on them. Listen and show interest. You could also encourage them to teach you the basics of the site or app. them to teach you some basics.
Ask your child if anything ever bothers or worries them about going online. You could use examples of events from the films and ask if they’ve ever heard of something similar happening. Talk in general about what children can do to stay safe online.
Use examples from Play Like Share to start a conversation about online ‘friends’ or ‘followers’. Ask them about who they chat to online, and whether they know and trust them ‘in real life’.
Talk about the importance of privacy settings and how they can help your child stay in control of what they share with others. . Together, look at the privacy settings for the services they use, encourage them to only share things with people they know and trust in real life.
Using examples from Play Like Share, talk to your child about what it might be appropriate or inappropriate to share online – this includes photos, videos, comments and personal information.
Talk to your child about how their online actions can affect others. Remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something.
Ensure your child understands that if anything ever happens online which worries or upsets them, they should always tell you.
Explain that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online, and you will always give them calm and non-judgemental support.
Make online safety an on-going conversation in your house… and involve the rest of the family in the conversation too.
Online factsheet (PDF 524KB)
Parent leaflet (PDF 896KB)
Mobiles factsheet (PDF 486KB
A Parent’s Guide (Mencap) Parents’ and carers’ guide to the internet