Christmas Gifts

22730132_1940200922968891_6414981008037283720_nMy 1st Blog for Out of School Partnership: Christmas Gifts 🎁

I know that it is October and no one really wants to be thinking about Christmas, but the reality is that parents/carers and family members will be starting to think about what presents to get this year.

For a lot of people the thought of giving a tablet or smart phone is becoming more common and the pressures of ‘well my friends have got one,’ is harder to fight!

I advocate for children using technology for learning, development and keeping in contact with family and friends, however as we are all aware these devices come with the somewhat hidden dangers of the internet.

From Child Sexual Exploitation to online bullying – the other side of the internet can be scary place, but there is plenty we can do to keep children and families safe online.

Here are some top tips to be giving to parents/carers that will hopefully make giving these types of gifts less worrying

1. Put a contract in with the phone/tablet between parent and child or for younger children include Santa

2. Make sure that you have the pin to the phone and any passwords for apps that they are using or have access to

3. Set any apps up from your own email address so that you can keep a check on what they are viewing or going on

4. Call you Wi-Fi provider and discuss security settings before giving the items to the child

5. Make sure you know what sites have age restrictions and what they are

6. Have time outs from the phone/tablet set up from the beginning – children do not need to sleep with a device in their room…alarm clocks do exist

7. Have consequences in place for over usage and make sure the child knows what these are from the beginning

8. For younger children have timers for being on devices (stop clock or egg time could be used)

9. Show an interest and make sure you are ‘friends’ with or ‘follow’ your children on all sites, even if you don’t use them yourself for any other reason

10. Make sure you lead by example when using devices yourself

We do not want to scare people around internet usage, but we also know that if we don’t allow children these devices they may become secretive and go on their friends without our knowledge.

In my next blog I will discuss privacy settings, information sharing and the places that you can advise parents/carers to go to gain awareness about online safety.

We can all be internet savvy at any age!