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Safe online: Advice for parents of teens

Virgin Media Staff

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If something is important to our teens, then they watch a video.

Most teens turn to video content first when they want to keep up to date with their interests - and one-in-ten online 12-15 year olds have 'gone live' on a social network.

At this age, they'll be growing their friendship network across social media - and dating. With the increased amount of time online at a challenging, identity-forming age, there are potential challenges to face, from body image concerns, cyberbullying, and sexting.  

This is why we're working with our partners at Internet Matters to introduce you to Digital Resilience – methods and tips to help children prepare for any issues they may face online, and how to learn and recover from them.

Here's our top tips for supporting and encouraging Digital Resilience in teens 14+ year olds:

Have conversations about sex and relationships in the online world

Get them thinking about their feelings around being pressured to send images on or offline.
Encourage them to stand their ground if they feel uncomfortable or pressured to fit in. Discuss how relationships, and trust, can change. 

Online identity and critical thinking

Help them to critically assess what other people say about them online, and get them thinking about possible subtext.

Help them managing their time online

Help them to think about the health implications of being online all the time - sleep and memory problems in particular. Talk about what you consider a good online/offline balance.

Have open and honest conversations

Like riding a bike, it's the recovery than can be harder to deal with than the fall. Help them regain their confidence through honest chats and frank discussions. Don't overreact. Reassure them that you are there to support, not to judge.

Find out More

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There’s some incredibly useful content over on the Internet Matters website that you can explore if you’d like more advice on building your child’s digital resilience.

We’ll be featuring more content each day this week:

Part 1: Helping kids stay safe online - Introducing Digital Resilience 
Part 2:  Advice for parents of 6-10 year olds
Part 3:  Advice for parents of 11-13 year olds

And you can always talk all things security in our Switched On Families forum

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*Source:Internet Matters OL research 2016