Parenting Ideas 

By Michael Grose-Parent Educator


As parents we want to do whatever it takes to minimise the mistakes our children make online. Netiquette is a set of general guidelines for cyberspace behaviour. Here are some basic principles parents can use to help children solve their own ‘netiquette’ dilemmas.

Be kind - Remember the human behind every screen.  Every user is an independent person with individual thoughts and feelings.  It can be easy to misunderstand another person’s intentions or even be rude to others when you are not interacting with them in person and given the grace of viewing facial expressions and emotions.  Perhaps the best mantra we can go back to as parents is the golden rule of “Treat others how you would like to be treated.” 

Respect privacy - With the world wide web being a public place, privacy is paramount. Learning how to protect personal information and the importance of looking at a website’s privacy policy can help develop skills around internet privacy. Asking for permission before creating accounts and downloading files, strategies for identifying scams and limiting the type of information kids give about themselves or others can help set a strong foundation for their digital lives. 

Develop their internal filter - Parents may feel that they have some control over their child’s use of technology and many use programs and apps that allow for monitoring and filtering content. We need to help our children develop their internal filter, as this is the one they will always have and may need to rely on. Research is clear that the best way to teach morals and ethics is through example. 

Teach them to do the right thing-

 Parents can nurture moral principles that will guide their children to stand up for their beliefs and act right even without us.  Know what you stand for so that your child knows. Discuss

with your child how you feel about the issue and why.

Be upstanding - There will be times online when your child will have to be brave and stand up for others, when they will have to go against social pressure to do what is right. Encourage your child to stand up, speak up and act up against online abuse.  They can support the target by letting them know they are there and provide empathy. Encourage your child to report what is happening to a trusted adult; someone who they believe will listen and has the skills, desire, and authority to help. 



Using the THINK rule can go a long way in practicing digital social skills.  It is a checklist of questions that children must go through before they post or comment online.  

Is it True?  

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

 Is it Necessary?

 Is it Kind? 

 Created to emphasise care online, it applies to real world engagement as well.