That time of the year where parents smile through gritted teeth about the following six weeks of “Can I have…”, “I’m really bored” or “Are we there yet?” – That’s right, the summer holidays are finally here.
Thousands of children across the country have closed their pencil cases for one last time and a whole six weeks of sun awaits. Well actually, that has already come and gone. Nevertheless, kids these days always find something to entertain them and more often or not, it comes in gadget form. Thanks to the likes of Apple’s latest iPad or Tesco’s own Hudl, there is always a piece of tech that keeps the little (or maybe not so little) ones occupied for a large period of time.
How much do you know?
It is all well and good that you’ve not heard a peep from the little terrors for a good couple of hours, but there are some questions you need to ask yourself.
- What are they doing?
- What apps do they have access to?
- Are they talking to anyone?
A big question is, do they know what is right and wrong
Educate yourself as well as your child
School may be out for the children but do not be afraid to offer education during the holidays. Internet safety is a topic that is not discussed at length in the home, make it priority.
Referring to the questions above:
- What are they doing? – Technology these days revolves around socialising. Making friends and staying entertained. A simple “What are you up to?” may be enough to instigate a conversation about staying safe with apps they are using.
- Speaking of apps, what are they actually using? – There are literally thousands of apps to choose from on any format whether it be Android or iOS. Number one on both of those download charts happens to the 90’s phenomenon, Pokémon (More on this one later!). Are you aware of the apps they have downloaded? Does your child use the likes of Snapchat? Messenger? Instagram? Discuss them, what to do and not to do whilst using these types of apps. Refer back to the first posts that appears on JLV Tech Support, online safety 1 and online safety 2.
- Who are they talking to? – The above lists a number of various apps that are easily downloadable to all types of devices. Many of these apps contain chatting features. If your child receives a new message from someone, even if they know them, ensure they know to let you know.
Away from social media platforms there is a whole world of online gaming that opens opportunities to communicate with a wide range of people from all over the world. Games such as Call of Duty which is popular amongst the teen culture and even the likes of FIFA offer you a chance to speak with whoever is at the other side of the console. Do you know who these people are? What they are saying?
You as a parent must take absolute responsibility for what your children access online. Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days for more safety tips to follow over the school holidays and beyond.