Advice for parents and carers
How to start a conversation with your child about using a phone safely:
Why do you want to get a phone?
Whilst deciding if it is time for your child to have their first phone can be a great opportunity to find out what your child expects to use their phone for. This could be for connecting with friends, playing games, for keeping in touch whilst out of the house or other reasons.
What do you like about using your phone?
You can ask your child about their favourite apps or games, what they like using their phone for, or you can ask them to show you how to play or use their favourite game or website.
What would you do if something worrying or upsetting happened on your phone?
You can ask them about the places they can go to find the safety advice, find out what they know about privacy settings, and ask them how to report or block on the services they use.
How can we do more online together?
Ask your child about activities or games that you could enjoy as a family, this can be a great time to establish a family agreement to manage your families time online.
Talk with your child about responsible use of their phone
Discuss what is okay and not okay to use their phone for. Talk about time limits and expectations of where the device can and cannot be used, this could include things like the phone being charged outside their bedroom overnight.
Discuss what to do if something upsetting or worrying happens
Give them the strategies they need in case something concerning happens whilst they are using their device. This could be to lock the screen and tell an adult, to make a report to the platform they are using, or to block the user.
Explore parental controls
Take a look at the controls available both on the phone itself and on your home Wi-Fi. Talk these through with your child too. Parental controls are a helpful tool, but an open conversation with your child is the most important thing.