How one word could be hiding your child’s digital angst in new school year

Sexting message

Children often face increased digital pressures during the 'back to school' period and a new study has now revealed that more than half would not turn to their parents if they were upset by something online.

The study, by TalkTalk's partners at Internet Matters, also highlighted:

- One in seven children admitted to spending more than six hours online per day
- One in three children admit they spend too much time online
- One in four children 'sometimes can't sleep' because they are thinking about things that happen online

In a series of hard-hitting ads, including the one above, the not-for-profit organisation highlights how children may feel reluctant to open up to their parents if they get into trouble online.

In response to these findings, Dr Linda Papadopoulos – a child psychologist and Internet Matters ambassador - says parents need to get beyond their children's one word responses and start 'decoding their digital world'.

"A new school year can be an intense time for children, full of change and full of excitement. Beyond the day-to-day emotional weight of starting a new term, they may also face extra pressure in their online world.

"They may feel under increased strain to have a persona online, keeping up with old and new friends, or simply trying to feel part of a group.

"As their dynamics change, it's important that parents encourage their children to open up about their online activities and find out if their children are anxious about anything, as well as learning about some of the issues they might be facing including cyberbullying, sexting or seeing inappropriate content."

Watch the other videos and get advice on how to help children stay safe, savvy and smart in their digital world on the Internet Matters website.

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