Tips for Encouraging Open Discussions about
Digital Lives

Next Tuesday (7 February) is Safer Internet Day: an annual event which promotes the safe, responsible and positive use of digital tech among children and young people. This year’s title is ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’ and is designed to give young voices a platform to shape the kinds of online safety support that they receive.

Simply checking in with children regularly about their experiences in the digital world, both good and bad, is a brilliant way to engage with what they’re currently into online, while also acting as a valuable early warning system about potential issues. To support Safer Internet Day, this week’s NOS #WakeUpWednesday guide has some top tips for initiating these helpful catch-up chats.

One of the most eye-catching results of a survey that we conducted last year (taking in more than 1,000 UK parents and carers) was that more than one in six – 18% – never talk to their child about staying safe online. There are many quite understandable reasons for this, such as feeling that their child is still too young, or assuming that they’re being taught online safety at school.

The fact remains, however, that regular conversations about our digital lives can help children keep online safety firmly in mind and avoid many common internet hazards. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide from NOS this week has some ideas for starting these beneficial chats with children – letting them know that you’re taking a keen interest without making it feel like an interrogation.

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