or most Kiwis, the wonderful world of the WWWis just a click away. But while the internet has become like an extra limb when it comes to our business, education, communication and entertainment, it can also hold some deeply sinister secrets that have the ability to psychologically harm our children.
Trolls bully unsuspecting people while they hide under the veil of anonymity. Bad people pretend they’re not who they really are. Pornography can appear out of nowhere. And too often we hear stories about vulnerable Kiwi kids who’ve been confronted with online situations like these, but haven’t known how to deal with them.
Think about these scenarios. When a kid from your child’s school posts lies about them on social media, labelling them ‘sluts’ or worse, they might hide their shame from you because they’re worried they might get in trouble. When another kid shows them a sexually-driven video, they might not look away because they don’t want to be labelled ‘uncool’. When a seemingly kind stranger online gives them attention, they might feel flattered and start up a relationship that might seem innocent at first but could quickly become something else.
The internet is a wonderful thing. But it can also be very dangerous. Parents need to know what their kids are doing online so they can educate and help protect them. Open and honest conversation might not be that ‘cool’, but it’s essential to ensure your kids remain safe and happy when they’re online.
‘‘The best way to approach the conversation is to ask your child