Empowering parents through our education sessions

Posted on 15 July 2016

This academic year, from September 2015 – July 2016, our Education Team spoke to 3,199 parents and carers about how to keep their children safe online.

At Childnet, we believe that educating parents is an excellent way to ensure our e-safety messages are reinforced in a sustainable way. We want to ensure our training for parents equips them with the skills and confidence they need to help their children navigate the internet is a safe and responsible way.

To help us to continue to develop and improve our education sessions we ask parents to complete an evaluation.  It was wonderful to see that from an evaluation of approximately 515 parents, 97% felt more confident following the training and 98% of parents said they will speak to their children about being safe online. 

98% of parents said they will speak to their children about being safe online as a result of the session

At Childnet we advocate starting a family agreement about being safe online and we believe that communication, taking an interest in your child’s digital world, as well as negotiation and parental controls all play a role in helping to protect your child online

It was reassuring for us to hear then that following the session parents were more inclined to have ongoing conversations with their children about internet safety and 96% of them said they would change the way they support their children online as a result. 

When clarifying how they will support their children differently, a parent at Quaintain Hall, said they will “monitor and listen to their children and get involved in what they are doing online”. Another parent at Merton Park said they will “be open with their children. Don’t over-react – get curious”.  Finally, a parent in West Drayton explained their new approach to online safety: “To calm down and talk about things together - not just imposing my views of 'this is wrong' without explaining or letting them give their view points, then talk together!”

99% of respondents said they learned something new during the session

This was encouraging as many the parents attending the session said they attended to get ‘clued up’. 

Parents said they gained more awareness on privacy settings, the importance of a digital footprint, as well as parental controls, in particular about Youtube restricted mode.  Many parents also said it was comforting to know the amount of support that exists to help parents in this area and others said their eyes were truly open to the endless possibilities, positive and negative, the internet can offer young people. A parent at St Joesph’s said they hadn’t realised that there is “lots of advice and support out there” for parents.

Following the session 96% of respondents said they would use Childnet’s free resources to help keep their children safe online. 

Tips from parents

As not all parents are able to attend our sessions, we asked parents to give their internet safety tips to others.  These included:

  • “listen to their needs, don’t overreact and be positive” – parent Sutton Junior School
  • A parent from Oaklodge School recommended parents “learn more so they can help their children”
  • Another parent from West Drayton urged parents to stay strong: “Not to just give in for an easy life - stop them from looking at things eg. games that are too old for them.”

It was great to hear many parents reiterating our mantra of keeping an open dialogue with children about internet safety!

Book an education session for your school!

Our feedback revealed that parents attended our sessions for different reasons.

One parent from Penns Primary School in Birmingham attended and explained that “I want to understand how to approach my children who are thinking of using the internet, how to prevent them in a loving way from using bad sites.” The majority of parents attended to understand more about how to keep their children safe online, while others, like a parent from ESMS in Scotland, feel their children know more than them and they wanted to get clued up. This parent said, “I feel in the dark ages compared to my kids”.

Whatever the reason it was great to hear that 99% of parents said the session was excellent or good!

If you’re interested in booking a parent session at your primary or secondary school, please get in touch at [email protected]

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