[South Eastern Europe] PARENTING IN THE TIME OF CORONA: Children Must be Safe on the Internet

  • Children must be safe on the internet
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24 Mar 2020

Now that schools have been closed due to the threat of the corona virus, classes, for most children, are held online. This is one of the greatest benefits that the Internet provides: information and knowledge for everyone, wherever they are. However, the increased presence of children on the Internet means they are more exposed to its potential risks.
Many parents are now working from home and need to devote themselves to their jobs. The internet may seem like the easiest way to entertain children while they work. Yet, just as no parent would allow their child to play in the middle of a busy street, parents should not leave them alone on the Internet.

Practical advice to parents

Agree on a schedule for using the internet for learning and fun with your child. Be sure to include other types of activities, including physical activity, in their schedule. If you work from home, make sure your child takes breaks, and keep track of what they are doing.

Early signs of the effects of child abuse on the Internet:
• hides screen, phone, tablet when a parent or other person enters the room
• rushes to another website when he or she senses the presence of another person
• acts nervously when using a computer, laptop, tablet or phone
• is nervous when they receive a message on the phone or computer
• spends a lot of time online on their computer or phone
• avoids friends, going out
• creates new profiles on social networks
• receives calls from strangers
• poorer school performance, less interest in school and learning

What to tell your child about online protection?
• Never give your real name and information to strangers
• Write about yourself only generally, without details
• Block strangers on social networks
• If they receive threats or are otherwise endangered, they should report it immediately

Who should they tell about any internet violence they encounter?
• Parents
• Teachers, psychologists or educators (or other adults they trust)
• Hotline and helpline

Save the Children has been working to raise awareness among parents over the past few years about the risks children face online. Many parents were astonished by this knowledge. 
To read more about their experiences see 


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