Here are the 5 basics to cover during The Talk:
BE KIND.Try to instill a sense of empathy in your kids. Remember: there’s someone else on the other side of the screen.
- Younger kids: Treat others like you want to be treated -- and always follow a website’s rules for behavior. Ask: How do you see other kids behaving online? What are some nice things you’ve seen other kids do?
- Older kids: Post constructive comments, and avoid getting into flame wars with trolls. Ask:What kind of positive behavior do you see online?
- Younger kids: Get kids to think about safety without scaring them. Don’t share your name, address, school, age, etc. Ask: Why don’t we want strangers to know certain things about us or our family?
- Older kids: Don’t broadcast your location, send photos to strangers, or share passwords with friends. Ask: What kind of information can be unsafe to share, and what’s fair game?
- Younger kids: Teach kids to be detectives. Ask: How can you tell whether something is true online? What are some signs that something might not be true?
- Older kids: Use reputable sources. Learn to recognize red flags. Ask: How can you tell what’s a reliable source of information? What are some signs something’s a scam?
- Younger kids: Help kids understand what sharing something online means. Ask: Who can see what you’re doing or saying online?
- Older kids: Encourage kids to pause before they act. Ask: What are some questions you can ask yourself before you share something online? Have you ever regretted something you’ve posted or said online?
- Younger kids: Make sure kids know they can come to you for help. Teach them how to flag misbehavior. Ask: What would you do if you saw someone being mean online or in a game?
- Older kids: Give kids tools to use in a crisis. Ask: If someone was being mean to you online, what would you want your friends to do? Do you know how to flag or report bullying on a social network or in a multiplayer game?