25 Teach internet safety In the upper elementary grades, students often use the internet at school to do research or at home to connect with friends. All children must be taught how to use the internet safely and responsibly. u Have your child show you his/her favorite websites and explain what he/she likes about them. Be careful when making comments about the sites your child likes. Remember, you want to keep the lines of communication open. u Keep your family computer in a common area of your home, such as the kitchen or family room. Children are much less likely to visit inappropriate sites if they know that others could be watching. Children should not have internet access in their bedrooms or in other areas that may be difficult to supervise. u Discuss what you believe are appropriate websites for your child to visit, and help your child find age appropriate sites that relate to his/her hobbies, personal interests, and school needs. u If your child plays games online, monitor your child’s gameplay for explicit violence, mature language, and sexual content. If your child plays online, keep tabs on who he/she interacts with. u Monitor screen time. Set a timer to limit the amount of time your child spends online. u Use parental controls to block your child’s access to sites that are potentially inappropriate. If you need assistance, contact your phone and/or internet provider, or search online for “parental controls.” u Establish basic internet safety rules for your child to follow (e.g., never give out any personal information – name, address, birthday, school; never make mean or cruel posts). For information on internet safety, go to www.commonsense.org, www.socialsafety.org, or www.wiredsafety.org.