Set daily limits for how long your children can use technology each day. Be firm but consistent. Yes, they’ll protest but they’ll accept if you stay strong and make it a family rule.
Encourage them to socialise with friends in ‘real life’ instead of online and make that happen.
Don’t allow too much ‘alone’ screen time – monitor it, and step in – even if you’re tired.
Insist on device-free times and zones such as family meal times and children’s bedrooms.
Stay up to date on the apps, Sure, you might use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc but have you heard of Whisper, an app built specifically for spreading rumours and secrets, that lets users post pictures and text anonymously? Or Twitch, TikTok, Kik, and any other of the other apps in our guides below? Maybe not, but your children will be onto them faster than you!
Be a good role model. If you're on your phone or computer non-stop, they'll want to copy you. Children learn how to socialise and interact with others through your actions. Put all things tech down when they get home from school and focus on them – their homework, their spellings, whatever they want to talk about.
Talk as a family about keeping safe online and about cyber-bulling and what your children should do if they're feeling worried.
Get familiar with the Parental Controls on your computer, tablet or smartphone. They let you manage which features, apps, and content your children can access. Usually this involves creating a passcode to prevent your oh-so-clever kids from accessing what you don't want them to get their hands on.
Keep reading your bedtime story as long as they’re happy to have you read to them. Most children love to be read to until at least 11 years +. It transports them into a different kind of virtual world – yours! – and they will mentally gobble up the vocabulary and story you’re telling in a different and more challenging way to anything they experience online.