Setting up for success
Advice for Parents & Carers
See how you can set up a family agreement with rules for how when and what apps and tools you can use to help your child have a safe and enjoyable time interacting with others.
Setting up a family agreement can be a great way of thinking through how your child will connect with people online and is a great document to refer to in order to reinforce the behaviour you are trying to encourage. Things you will want to consider are:
- Devices. Which devices are they allowed to use and how long for? Are there any apps and services they are not allowed to use? When is it OK to download files, games, or apps?
- Sharing. What information is it OK to share online? Who can I post images and videos of online? Will my account be set up to be private? How will I respond to requests?
- Working together. When I will ask for help? Who I can ask for help?
Given the additional risks children with vulnerabilities face online, it can be a leap of faith to allow your child access to the digital world, however, there is also an increasing number of apps and software solutions that can both help your child to look after themselves, but also provide you with a sense of control.
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For children, consider installing the BBC Own It app. This app is personal to children and young people. It prompts the child when they type in something inappropriate and offers up some resources that might help. It also has a mood tracker and provides helpful suggestions, and is packed with helpful articles and resources to stay safe online. You can read more about the app here
And there is an increasing number of wellbeing apps for young people. You can find some examples here:
For parents, there is a range of apps and software packages that allow you to monitor your child’s use and time spent online. A number of apps allow you to install a keyboard that can monitor what your child types, highlighting anything of risk based on keywords. MM Guardian, PocketGuardian, and SafeToNet all offer capabilities of this kind. You can also find out more about monitoring apps here:
If you choose to use one of these apps, make sure your child knows you are doing it and why. It’s important that you give them the right to discuss this with you and that as they demonstrate they are making good choices you can and will reduce the level of engagement you have.