The world we live in is a complex mixture of real-life and the digital world. This can be a very confusing space for our children to navigate and it could lead an innocent child down the wrong path if it’s not understood properly.

Predators and scammers seek out the gullible and vulnerable – often our older or younger generation who are exploring the online space. If children are watching YouTube or playing games on a phone, they are online. This is their introductory channel to the worldwide web. Teaching them the right way to navigate this space is as essential as teaching them the ABCs and phonics in language.

While embracing technology, teach your children that there is good and bad online and continue with these conversations well into their teens. As digital pressures can be overwhelming for children, it is important to teach them how to say “no” and stand up for themselves face-to-face as well as online.

Here are some steps you can take to help:

  1. Empower your child: Teach your children to have confidence in themselves and their decisions, and to believe that they can set boundaries and stand up for themselves.
  2. Teach them about online privacy: Educate your children about the importance of protecting their personal information online and the dangers of sharing too much.
  3. Encourage open communication: Create an open and supportive environment where your children feel comfortable coming to you with any concerns or questions they have about their online experiences.
  4. Discuss digital peer pressure: Talk to your children about the types of digital peer pressure they may encounter, such as pressure to participate in online bullying or to share personal information.
  5. Role-play: Practice saying “no” in a safe and supportive environment. You can role-play different scenarios, for example, request them to participate in online bullying.

By taking these steps, you can help your children to feel empowered and say “no” in the face of digital pressures. Also ask your school what they are doing about online exposure to protect your children before their teens.