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The day you buy a phone or tablet for your child, one of the most important things you NEED to teach your child is how to Screen Shot.


A continual message to give your child is Screen Shot anything that upsets or worries them and encourage them to show you.

In my classroom workshops I say to children:


“Don’t wait for a second nasty message to arrive. A single message that hurts you inside – Screen Shot, Save, Keep, Show it to someone “


Screenshot on Apple Devices:

  • Hold the Power and Home buttons at the same time.
  • The on-screen image will be saved to the Photo gallery

For most Android Devices: 

  • Press and hold the power and volume down buttons.
  • The on-screen image will be saved to Gallery


  • Taking a screen shot can differ across devices and manufacturers
  • GOOGLE: “Screenshot on < name of device>

From the outset, teach your child to keep their password private to themselves only.
A great little catchphrase to use with pre-teen children:

“Treat your Password like your Toothbrush – New Share and Change it regularly.”

Every Password should have the following:

  • 8 Characters Minimum – “Keep it Long and Strong”
  • Contain Letters and Numbers, upper & lower case
  • Insert a bracket, comma, an emoji even. 
  • Change it regularly – 3 times a year. Perhaps the day they get Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays.

Think of your child as a “Digital Adult”. They explore far more than we adults. They constantly register on new sites, apps, games.

The longer they keep the same Password, the better chance that Password has of being compromised.

Facebook Inadvertently redefined the word “Friend” over the past 15 years. As Parents, we tend to think of online Friendship in terms of Facebook. It’s important to realise that Children receive Friend requests from many different sources these days. They receive them through mainstream Social Media, Messaging platforms, but also through games.
I recently set up an account for my 10-year-old daughter on a game called Roblox, a game enjoyed by millions around the world. Within 10 days my daughters account received over 200 Friend requests from other games players and a similar number of direct messages. Children are bombarded with Chat and Friending through online gaming.

Teach your Child: 

  • It’s OK to say No to a Friend request – It’s no being impolite.
  • If you don’t know that person in the Real World – how could they be your Friend?  They are not your Friend.
  • Many gaming sites suggest new Friends. Friends of Friends, rather like Facebook.
    I use the catchphrase “A Friend of a Friend is not your Friend”
  • Girls in particular see online Friends and Followers as a popularity contest. It’s about accumulating as many Friends and Followers as possible to appear cool in front of their real Friends. Watch for that behaviour with girls particularly.
    Pre-empt it by having a real conversation with your child. Set agreed boundaries with your child around online friending and have consequences if the rules are broken.
  • BLOCK a persistent request from someone you don’t know, but encourage your child to SCREEN SHOT first – them BLOCK. The sequence is important as some platforms remove the details of the contact or message when you BLOCK.
  1. Think Before You Post.
  2. Respect Respect Respect
  3. Never Share Personal Information.
  4. Never send a Rude or Nasty message. Never reply to a Nasty message or Comment.
  5. Friending
    – Be Choosey about your Friends online.
    – Only Friend people you know in the Real World
    – Catch Phrase: “A Friend of a Friend is not your Friend”
  1. Encourage your child to talk to you if they receive or see something that worries them.
  1. Say No to Secret Friendships and tell you if they receive one.
  2. Never Share Passwords.
  3. Trust their Instincts – “If it doesn’t FEEL quite right – just don’t Click on it”
  4. Ensure they know how to Screen Shot on their device.

Treat you Online World in the same way as the Real World

While many of Tips and Behaviours outlined above might seem simple and obvious, it’s important as a Parent to understand children’s attitudes and behaviours online when conveying these messages to your child.

1. Engage your child’s online activity – Show an Interest.

As parents show an interest in every aspect of our children’s lives. If your child is interested in Football, Basketball, Swimming, we show an interest. We talk about it. It’s normal chit chat in our home.
Ask yourself, “How often do you talk about the Internet? “. Your child’s Online World. 
A place they go where they socialise with their friends. A place they spend as much time, if not more than they do playing Basketball or Football.

Why is that? Why don’t we talk about it?

The more you make conversation about the Internet the norm rather than the exception in your home, the more normal it feels, the more open it becomes, and perhaps the more insight you will get into your child’s online world.

It doesn’t have to be a serious conversation all the time. Many of the conversations we have with our children about the internet are us Parents laying down the rules. “Don’t do this”, “You are not allowed on Facebook” etc. Often these messages are received by children in a negative way. And so, we as Parents are on the South Pole, plotting rules, worrying and giving out about our children. Meanwhile the kids are on the North Pole having great fun. Polar Opposites. Engage with them. Make it Fun. If your child is into Taylor Swift, maybe subscribe to a Taylor Swift news feed, something that give you tit bits of news on Taylor. Then at the dinner table – “Did you hear what Taylor said about Katy Perry today? “

  • Engage
  • Show an Interest
  • Make If Fun
  • Talk

2. Have clear Rules and Boundaries in your home for the Internet

As Parents, we set rules and boundaries for every aspect of our children’s lives. We decide what time they get up in the morning, what time they go to bed, what they eat etc. Children need rules and structure in their lives. Without them, their lives would be chaos.
Ask yourself – “Do you have real rules around the internet in your home? “
If you don’t, then why don’t you? Why is the Internet different?

Many parents face challenges with controlling the amount of screen time their child has. Some simple things every parent should be doing at home:

  • The bedroom is a “No Device” area.
  • Have “Tech Free” times and zones at home.
  • No screen time for one hour before bed time.
  • Set reasonable and agreed limits for your child’s screen time.
  • As parents – Lead by example.

3. Use Parental Controls

As routine users of the internet, many Parents struggle with idea of setting up a Parental Control, not knowing how to even take that first step. Very often, parents are put off by the thought that it’s too technical and beyond their capability. 

Any parent can set up a Parental control and supervise their children’s online activity!
Let me introduce you to a very simple Parental Control called Ourpact which allows you to control screen time on a Phone or Tablet. It’s absolutely free and will take you approximately 10 minutes to set up.

Start by going to www.ourpact.com and try it out. Any parent can do it!

Often, the hardest part is taking the first step.

Apart from exploring and watching video, children go online predominantly for two reasons these days.

  1. To have fun and socialise with their friends.
  2. Play games.

If your child is playing games online with an XBOX or PlayStation, then that console is not just a gaming device, it’s a Social Media box.

Ask any pre-teen or teenage girl these days: 

  • “Did you have good night out with your friends’ darling? “
  • In her bedroom, on her own, on phone, on Snapchat with twelve of her Friends.
  • The response might be – “Mom I had a great night out …”

Your child has an “Online World”. A place they go where they socialise with their friends. A place where many children spend more time than they do on real world recreational activities.
As parents, we supervise every aspect of our children’s lives to keep them safe.


  • Do you supervise your child’s Online World? Do you Really supervise it?
  • Have you set real Rules and Boundaries for the internet in your home?
  • Do you have real conversations about that part of your child’s life?
  • Do you know who your child talks to online?
    • A Friend?
    • A Bully?
    • A Predator?


If the answer is “NO” to any of the above, then Well Done for being honest.

Now take the next step and extend your Parenting skills to your child’s Online World.

Get Started