Get ready for a digital festive season

This holiday season the internet and tech will play a bigger role in festive celebrations for many families. Whether you are connecting with relatives over a video call or sharing memorable moments on social apps, take a look at our tips to help the whole family stay connected, stay entertained and stay safe.

What you’ll find in this section

Find the latest how-to guides to set up safely on video conferencing platforms, expert advice on how to help children socialise online during the holiday season, age-specific games to play together and more in our digital festive stocking.

Stay connected

Here is a range of tips and tricks to help you and your children connect safety with family and friends over the holiday season.

Video call tips

Parent guide to make video calls a success

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Group chat tips

How to use video chat platforms for group chats

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Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos provide tips to help kids reflect on events of the year
Display video transcript
00:02
i also thought it would be really
00:03
interesting to speak
00:04
about the importance of giving kids a
00:06
sense of control and i think a lot of
00:09
that comes
00:09
with having a discussion that kind of
00:11
takes stock of their last year and it's
00:13
a great time to do that the festive
00:14
season
00:15
you know comes at the end of the year so
00:17
kind of looking back and taking stock
00:19
is is kind of an important family ritual
00:21
to begin because i think in some ways
00:23
it allows one to make sense of the
00:25
difficult stuff and and celebrate the
00:26
good stuff
00:27
so i think one of the first things that
00:28
you're going to want to speak about is
00:30
obviously control right it was a really
00:33
difficult time for everyone feeling out
00:34
of control i think especially with kids
00:36
who
00:37
kind of absorb other people's anxieties
00:39
it was everywhere so
00:40
you know make a point of saying hey how
00:42
did it feel you know not you know having
00:44
to live with all that uncertainty what
00:45
came out of it
00:46
what did you learn about your ability to
00:48
cope and i think this is key as well
00:50
the idea that it was really tough but
00:52
look they got through it what did they
00:54
use kind of elicit from them
00:55
what they did you know they might say
00:57
well actually it really helped speaking
00:58
to you
00:59
or it really helped when you know i read
01:01
my favorite book or played my favorite
01:02
game at night because i took my my mind
01:04
off of it
01:04
you know whatever they do it's about
01:06
kind of reinforcing the idea that
01:08
yes they can't control everything but
01:09
they can always control their response
01:11
to it and that's something that you're
01:13
there
01:13
to help them do the second thing you
01:15
should kind of speak about at this time
01:17
as well
01:17
is communication right again their ways
01:20
of communicating like everyone's
01:22
will have been sort of hindered or at
01:24
least changed by what happened this year
01:27
so speak to them about okay well how did
01:28
that work what was the hardest thing
01:29
about it
01:30
you know what did you find surprisingly
01:32
easy maybe that you know through
01:33
communicating more online they became
01:34
better friends i know with someone they
01:36
were playing a game with
01:37
and that's great so the next question is
01:38
then how do you take this forward
01:40
into 2021 how does this kind of
01:43
you know how do we make sure this is
01:44
something that grows and you get
01:46
something out of
01:47
it's really key to ensure that that kind
01:49
of sense of
01:50
you know communication is reinforced the
01:52
importance and how they might use
01:54
it and i think the final thing that i i
01:56
think is important to speak about is
01:57
worry
01:58
worry is a fascinating thing you know in
02:00
some ways i think a lot of people feel
02:02
and i think it's true of kids and adults
02:03
that worry serves a protective function
02:05
if i worry about something
02:06
then somehow it might not happen but of
02:08
course that isn't the case
02:10
but it's great to kind of have a chance
02:12
to speak to kids what are you worried
02:14
about next year you know for a lot of
02:15
kids it might be going back to school
02:17
they got so used to being at home
02:19
or spending you know less time
02:21
connecting online
02:22
or the exact opposite you know speaking
02:24
to them kind of getting them to
02:25
discuss their worries and also discuss
02:28
the things that
02:29
they may be over worrying about helping
02:30
point out that maybe this is
02:32
kind of an exaggerated worry it won't
02:34
happen or something that you can help
02:35
with
02:36
ultimately what you want to do is ensure
02:38
that they feel that while this has been
02:39
a difficult year
02:40
there's good that's come out of it and
02:42
the stuff that was difficult they were
02:43
resilient enough to cope with having
02:45
that view of themselves
02:46
is going to be key lastly i think it's
02:49
important to speak about
02:50
how we can ensure our kids are getting
02:52
their emotional five a day and the same
02:55
way we speak about the importance of
02:56
getting five fruits and vegetables
02:58
into our diet for their health
03:00
emotionally speaking it's really
03:01
important
03:02
that they're doing some things that sort
03:03
of feeds into their sense of well-being
03:05
the first of these is meaningful
03:07
connection now by that i don't mean you
03:09
have to have sort of really deep long
03:10
talks
03:11
all the time but i do think it's
03:13
important that you're able to have a
03:14
cuddle to speak to them about something
03:16
that touched them that day whether it's
03:17
in a good way or in a bad way
03:19
to ensure that they feel listened to the
03:22
second thing that i would say
03:24
is play now a lot of kids kind of are
03:26
doing a lot of this online because
03:28
they're able to but i think offline it's
03:30
just as important so if you can
03:32
organize play dates within their bubble
03:33
make sure they go out and you have a
03:35
walk or
03:36
you know play with a dog or their
03:37
siblings or with you the idea of
03:39
moving and kind of engaging in that kind
03:41
of physical play and that physical
03:43
movement
03:43
is really important for their emotional
03:45
well-being i think the third one is talk
03:47
about
03:47
um a sense of purpose right so what is
03:51
it that you plan to do that day
03:52
you know even if it's we plan to have a
03:54
pajama day where we're doing
03:56
nothing having that planning in their
03:58
head this is what we're gonna do
04:00
is great it makes them feel contained
04:02
and safe and in control
04:03
um kind of along with this relaxation
04:06
you know this will have been a really
04:07
taxing time for kids going
04:09
from online from online learning to
04:11
offline learning to
04:13
kind of you know many of them being sent
04:14
home school would have been confusing
04:16
not seeing their friends in the same way
04:18
so i think just making sure you do
04:20
things that are relaxing for them and
04:22
for you as a family
04:23
is really key and i think finally really
04:26
importantly
04:27
every day should be punctuated by
04:28
something that gives them a sense
04:30
of mastery that they're good at or
04:32
pleasure that they just enjoy doing and
04:33
i think just sort of remember it so at
04:34
the end of the day
04:35
what was the best thing about today what
04:37
do you think you know what stuck out in
04:39
your mind so kind of
04:40
beginning to train their mind to look
04:41
out for the good stuff that'll kind of
04:43
you know stand them in good stead when
04:45
it comes to good mental health because
04:47
what you're doing is you're training
04:48
your brain
04:49
to look for the good stuff out there
04:51
rather than perhaps focusing on the
04:53
worries that there have been so many of
04:55
this year
04:56
well i really hope that this helped and
04:58
i hope you have
04:59
an amazing holiday season if you want
05:01
more information
05:03
get over to internetmatters.org we've
05:05
got lots of great tips and videos out
05:07
there
05:08
in the meantime from me dr linda
05:10
papadopoulos and
05:11
everybody at internet matters we wish
05:12
you very happy holidays
05:29
you
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Further resources

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