Transition to Secondary school
The move from primary to secondary school brings with it a whole new digital life that can easily get out of hand, says Charlotte, a working Mum of three.
“When they start secondary school, I think they want to be part of every network and app, and I think that needs limiting,” she says.
Having a mobile phone is practical
Charlotte’s daughter will be going into year 7 in September, and will have a new mobile phone. “I think it’s important from a practical point of view, if she’s staying after school, going to a friend’s house or meeting me at the end of the day,” says Charlotte. “I also think it’s important in terms of fitting in with peers and not feeling like the odd one out.”
Pressure to get the latest phones
In preparation for the change, Charlotte has spoken with her daughter at length about the consequences of using the phone inappropriately or carelessly. At the moment, the biggest potential pressure is what sort of phone everyone has, adds Charlotte. “They all compare what sort of phone they have, but my daughter is still grateful just to have a phone.”
School rules on mobiles
For Charlotte, the key concerns are around online safety and keeping the device itself safe and secure. “The school had a meeting for new parents where they talked about mobile phone policies,” explains Charlotte. “The pupils can only use them at break and lunchtime, if they’re used at other times, they will be confiscated. I think that seems reasonable and more lenient than I expected!”
Getting ready for new digital experiences
So far, Charlotte feels confident that she and her daughter are ready for the new digital experiences that high school will bring. “I hope we’re ready. My daughter is quite sensible, which helps, but I’m prepared for things to change a bit when the hormones kick in. I think that kids today do face a lot of pressure as teens that we didn’t when we were growing up, so it is a lot to deal with.”