Screen Time: Advice for Parents
How much is too much?
Unfortunately – there is no magic number, children use their devices and computers for lots of different reasons – to learn, to play, and to socialise. The most important thing is to set clear rules on screen time and set a good example, if you are concerned your child is spending too much time online.
- Agree a clear set of rules with your child on screen time in the home. Talk to your child on when you think it is appropriate and inappropriate to use screens. Agree times when screens are allowed and not allowed in the home. For example dinner time, homework time and bed time.
- Do as you say. Modelling behaviour is THE most powerful way you can influence your child’s behaviour.
- Restrict the use of computers/devices in the bedroom. Depending on the age of your child you may want to set a curfew or ban devices from the bedroom completely.
- Buy an alarm clock for your child’s bedroom and charge their phones in your room at night time. This can be a helpful way of giving them a break from the internet.
- Try not to rely on screens too much to keep the kids amused. It can be easy to encourage kids to pick up the tablet or play a game on the computer to keep them occupied. This only confuses rules on screen time, try and stick to the agreed rules with your child and remember to set a good example.
- Chat to your child about what they do online and encourage them to use their screen time for learning and education.
- Pick one evening a week where you do a family activity together, whether it’s movie night, games night. Doing activities together as a family will help implement screen time guidelines and offer fun alternatives.
- Don’t have screens always on in the background. Turn off TVs and Computers when not in use, these can be distracting for kids if they are trying to participate in another activity.
- Finally, join in, why not set some time aside to play your child’s favourite computer game and discover the online world together.
8 Back to School Social Media Tips for Teens
Has your child starting secondary school this year? A new school and a new school year is an exciting time for teens, making new friends and catching up with old ones on and off line. Help get their first year off to a great start with these 8 social media tips.
- Always remember The Granny rule! We all love sharing pictures and videos of ourselves online and with our friends. But let’s think about it first… not sure if you should share something online? Just ask yourself… would I want my Gran to see this picture? Got it!
- It’s not a popularity contest. Making friends is important, but only accept friend requests from people you know… and maybe avoid adding/following teachers.
- Be Webwise! Check your privacy settings on your social accounts. The whole world doesn’t need to see what you’re up to… keep it for your friends!
- Don’t Feed the Trolls! Report/block/delete. Do not engage with trolls online. If you are concerned about something you see online, talk to adult an adult or teacher you trust. And remember liking, sharing an inappropriate post can get you in as much trouble as the person who posted it originally.
- Keep it to yourself >>> Be careful what kind of information you share online and who you share it with. Never share your address, phone number, password (not even with friends) or other personal information online or with someone you don’t know.
- Be an Upstander… not a Bystander! Cyberbullying is no joke, if you see something online that involves cyberbullying… don’t be a bystander. Report it and tell an adult or teacher you trust.
- Be Nice… Treat people online the way you would like to be treated. Share the love!
- Finally… be yourself! Social networking sites and apps are great places to express yourself, use them wisely and share what you love about the world!
Managing Your Online Reputation
Ensure your online experience is a positive one with these tips to managing your reputation online.
Check your settings
Some of the most popular social networks are set to public by default, meaning everyone can see our photos, what we are sharing or talking about. Regularly check your privacy settings across your social networks and apps. We recommend a ‘friends only’ option for your online profiles.
Search for yourself online
Do a quick search for yourself online, if you find something you don’t like report it with the website or network host requesting the content be removed.
Deactivate old accounts
Social media changes so quickly, it can be easy to forget about old accounts or networks we’ve signed up to. If you’re not using an account delete/deactivate it, this can help avoid risk of accounts/profiles being hacked.
Make the most of your time online
What we do online can follow us around, ensure you make a positive impact. Whether it’s starting a blog, raising awareness for something you care about or becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg… the possibilities are endless!
THINK before you post
Before you share, comment, like, post, Tweet or pin anything… ask yourself if this is something you want everyone to see? Use the THINK model if you’re unsure about posting something online >>> Ask yourself is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Illegal? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?