5 tips to make every day a #SaferInternetDay

Events - code clubs and workshops
“Put your child in charge of the screen – make them the boss.”

 


Safer Internet Day is a great opportunity to stop and think about your whole family’s internet use. We’re firmly behind all the things that Safer Internet are doing and agree with all the points on the government checklist   

But here at MAMA.codes, we believe that it should be Safer Internet Day 365 days a year.

From our work with schools and delivering code clubs, we know that many parents are really concerned about screentime, often aggressively limiting children’s access to tablets and phones. 

We think that the way to change these behaviours and mindsets is to flip the emphasis from passive consumption into active thinking screentime.

So, how can we do this? We’ve written a comprehensive FREE online safety guide for parents of under-8s which you can download here, but below are our top 5 tips:

  • Try not to focus on the time spent on a screen but pay attention to what your child is actually doing online. Is it interactive, creative and age-appropriate?
  • Make sure that you’re aware of which channels and games they are using and that the content is appropriate. We try and teach our children resilience and perseverance but are often quick to find this new tech world difficult to navigate and so give up attempting to limit and moderate what the children are doing online.
  • If you’re on your device yourself, explain what you’re doing to involve your child: “I’m just sending a message to Granny so that we can go and see her next week.” Or  “Look, I’m buying the yoghurts you like by putting them in my basket and then the supermarket will bring them with our next delivery.”
  • Teach your child from a young age that technology is a creative tool that allows them to get things done. Put your child in charge of the screen – make them the boss.
  • We believe teaching pre-school children to code fosters a healthier relationship with technology – and more positive screentime in particular.  ScratchJR is an icon-based app which allows children to code before they can read. Our creative code clubs and holiday camps for ages 3-8 are rolling out across London (nationwide later this year), but you can start right here and be coding today.

By seeking out more creative apps you can get your child to express their imagination and come up with new ideas.
If we can take these smaller steps, then we have a greater chance of embedding healthier digital habits as they grow up.

We will also be running our Raising Digital Kids courses again in Spring 2018 in a number of London locations and online. If you’re interesting in attending, please get in touch and let us know your preferred location.