This blog is sponsored by Thorn. All opinions expressed are my own.
Did you know that kids as young as nine years old have been asked to send nude photos online? Scary right? That’s why it’s so important to speak with your kids early and often about online digital safety. Thorn for Parents is a new digital resource hub to help parents have earlier, more frequent and judgment-free conversations with kids about digital safety.
Thorn’s latest research shows that risk for kids online begins younger than most parents think. And the window to talk to kids about these dangers shrinks as time goes on.
Even if your child doesn’t have their own device, they may still have online access via other
shared devices in your home or at a friend or family member’s house.
That’s why it’s so crucial to start building your child’s understanding of online safety. Creating an open dialogue at an early age, talking with your kids early and often, and being transparent with your kids helps prepare your them to be safe and secure online.
Use clear language about what is safe and unsafe online while using apps and gaming platforms to give kids a better understanding about when to ask you for help. By talking with your kids early and often, they will feel comfortable sharing with you when things pop up as they get older.
So don’t wait to have these conversations! Talk early. Talk often.
A great time to talk to your kids is in low pressure moments. When you’re driving your kids around, walking around or laying in bed before bedtime. These side-by-side moments make it easier to talk about difficult topics since you’re not facing eye-to-eye.
For some reason, side-by-side moments facilitate talking about awkward conversations because they remove the pressure.
These are called “approachable moments,” and they’re a great time to discuss anything that may be more challenging, difficult or awkward. Find the best approachable moments for your family to have these conversations early and often.
Kids learn by doing, so get cozy and explore these topics together. Are there any moments throughout the day when your child is more open to conversations about feelings? Talk about online digital safety during these times! Get started at parents.thorn.org.