As we wrap up the holiday season, it’s clear that online activities play a significant role in keeping our kids entertained and engaged. In today’s digital age, where technology surrounds our children, ensuring their safe and positive online experiences is no small feat. To help us navigate this digital playground, eSafety offers a variety of resources for different age groups and we’ve gathered insights from real parents in our schools to share their practical tips and strategies that work in their households.
Natalia and Sandi, members of our Safeguarding team at CSBB stress the significance of screen time limits, app approvals, and regular device checks. These measures, coupled with ongoing conversations about online safety, consent, and appropriate content, contribute to creating a secure digital environment within their households. Sandi adds a crucial tip: stay updated on the latest apps and potential risks through the eSafety Commissioner. Subscribe to latest news via this link
Early Years (3-6 years old)- Starting the Conversation
It’s never too early to start the conversation with your little ones. Transform it into a fun activity using e-safety resources to discuss simple concepts like not sharing personal information and asking for permission before using devices. Bedtime talks are a perfect opportunity for a casual and engaging conversation.
The Esafety commission has a digital and printable book, and a matching song to use with young children designed to develop positive relationships with technology as they grow which encourages them to ask for help when they are using digital devices
Primary School Years (7-12 years old)- Establishing Boundaries
Introduce the concept of online consent and boundaries using eSafety’s on-demand videos and activities. This resource becomes valued as your child starts engaging in more interactive online activities. Encourage open communication about their experiences, helping them understand the importance of setting boundaries and seeking permission.
Rachel, Mum of Primary Ages Children, shares her strategy of using the Net Nanny App to monitor her son Otis’ online activities, especially on platforms like YouTube. The app not only tracks his activities but also sends alerts when he’s pushing the limits on certain sites. Rachel strikes a balance between giving her son digital freedom and ensuring his online safety.
Lulu, a parent of primary-aged children, emphasises the importance of understanding the games her son plays by actively engaging with him. She plays any game with her son before allowing him to play independently, deciphering the game dynamics and potential risks. Lulu also focuses on balance, ensuring her son completes other activities like outdoor play, homework, and chores before gaming.
Upper Primary Years (9-12 years old)- Gaining Insights
Gain insights into your child’s perspective on online safety by utilising the Student Voice Survey. This information helps tailor your approach, addressing specific concerns or challenges your child might be facing.
Natasha, a parent of young children and teenagers believes in creating healthy habits around tech and shared her household rules of not allowing phones/devices in bedrooms once it’s bedtime, even for older ages. This rule ensures a healthy sleep schedule and prevents late-night device usage. She also highlights the importance of parental controls for younger children to limit content and screen time.
High School Years (13-18 years old)– Empowering Conversations
Discuss with your teenagers what to do if they encounter online abuse and emphasise the importance of seeking help. The available resources below will help you guide these conversations and not only educate but empower them to be responsible online.
Michal, Mum of High School and adult children stresses the significance of open and honest conversations with children about the dangers of online gaming and social media. Her experience with children of varying ages highlights the importance of tailoring discussions to meet the unique challenges presented by different age groups.
Knowledge is key in navigating the ever-evolving digital landscape, and eSafety keeps parents up-to-date with the latest research and recommendations.
Lulu recommends monitoring your child’s social media connections and encouraging them to follow diverse and authentic accounts. Particularly, when addressing concerns about body image, having accounts that reveal the realities behind filters and poses can provide valuable insights, helping them navigate the online world.
Nic, parent of primary-aged children and fortunate to have a police officer husband, leverages his professional insights to teach her kids about the implications of online behavior. This insight offers a chance to communicate that what goes online is not just for friends’ eyes but could be for anyone, even up to school principals.
Our role as parents in guiding our children through the digital world is more critical than ever. By utilising eSafety’s resources and incorporating the practical tips shared by real parents, we can actively engage with our children at every age, creating a foundation for responsible and safe online behaviour. Together, let’s ensure that the digital playground remains a space of learning, creativity, and positive experiences for our children. By actively engaging with our children, utilising monitoring tools, and maintaining open communication, we can create a safe and positive online environment for children of all ages.