How to help your child with the handling of the internet and social media

We have listed some tips for you and your child to be able to safely and responsibly move about on the internet and social media:

  • Tell your child about the internet and its “dark” side. Responsible use of the internet and social media can only be achieved if the child knows what he or she is getting involved with.
  • Chaperone your child on the internet (according to age); offer help. Do not leave him or her unsupervised, even though they will not be happy about it.
  • Regularly check your child’s social media security and privacy settings. You need to ensure that only “friends” can access your child’s content and information.
  • Employ free browser add-ons to block certain areas on the internet. (Add-ons allow you additional browser functions.) Alternatively there is also software (at additional cost), that enables you to, for example, set computer and internet hours for your child or to block certain internet sites, themes and areas as well as monitor your child’s use of the computer. This way you can always see what your child is up to at the computer.
  • Do not put a computer in your child’s bedroom. Position the computer in a place where your child is not alone and where you can always see what he or she is doing.
  • Confiscate Smartphones and tablets in the evening. No child needs a mobile phone or tablet in his or her room at night. These devices are an enormous distraction and may severely disturb a peaceful sleep.
  • Observe the age recommendations of the manufacturers and website providers. Children are only allowed to use social media from the age of 13.
  • On these social media platforms, “friend” your child yourself – without being embarassing or overly considerate.
  • Spell out to your child that the internet never forgets. Everything published on the internet, stays – forever! Therefore, be careful with private and intimate information. Who you have as a “friend” today may not be one tomorrow.
  • Should your child become a victim of Cyber Bullying talk to teachers and other parents. Above all: Go to the police. Also, it is imperative to retain proof (screenshots) of insults or defaming material.
  • Set a good example yourself. Also put aside your Smartphone, tablet or laptop and spend time with your family.
  • Introduce “quality time” – times, when you let yourself not be distracted by anything and just are together as a family.
  • Do not shy away from conflicts with your child. Trust your gut feeling.