Skip to Content

Raising tweens and teenagers

Tips for communicating effectively with teens, help them build confidence and self-esteem, how to deal with cyber bullying and practical ways to stay safe online

Keeping kids safe online

Gone are the days of insisting your child use a computer in the shared area of the house to monitor their online activity to try and keep them safe.

Now, with so many children owning a mobile phone or having access to one via their friends, the focus for parents is on how to build knowledge and skills about cyber safety.

A federal government study in 2016 found 1 in 5 kids aged between 8 and 17 experience cyber bullying in some form each year and the problem is growing with some experts believing the figure is now as high as 1 in 3. Other online issues include ‘sexting’, cyber stalking and sites that incite or glorify harmful behaviour such as eating disorders.

The NSW anti-bullying website was created to help school communities deal with bullying. Information and resources have been developed specifically for parents and carers as well as students and teachers. The site includes a section on keeping your child safe online and how to respond if your child tells you she or he is being bullied.

At a national level, Australia became a global trail blazer in March 2017 with the appointment of our first ever e-Safety Commissioner and the introduction of a law to boost online protections for children and young people.

The Office of the e-Safety Commissioner is also tasked with promoting positive behaviours on the web and helping people build their resilience for those times when things go wrong online.

The Office of the e-Safety Commissioner website is a great resource for parents but also children and young people.

Resources you’ll find include:

Young and eSafe - a site developed by young people for young people that you can introduce your children to.

Resources for parents on cyberbullying – this includes what cyberbullying is and how to report incidents of online bullying.

iParent guide to keeping your devices safe - safety tips for you but also how to keep safe devices owned by your children and teens.

Understanding ‘image-based abuse’ including ‘sexting’. According to research by a number of universities, 1 in 5 people in Australia aged 16 to 49 are likely to experience image-based abuse at some point in their lives.

How to report issues and make an official complaint - how to collect evidence prior to making a report, the report process, the process of reporting, making a report to a social media site and information for young people on re-writing their story if they have been bullied online

Tips for those experiencing Domestic and Family Violence on eSafety planning including ways to include your children and teens in developing a safety plan.

Information about Safe Internet Day.

How the e-Safety Commissioner can help

The Office of the e-Safety Commissioner is tasked with:

  • equipping parents, carers, children and young people with the means to stay safe online
  • promoting positive and respectful behaviour online
  • building resilience to help those targeted by cyber bullying to walk away from the experience without lasting injury
  • curating resources for teachers and schools.

Under the Enhancing Online Safety of Children Act, you can go to the e-Safety Commissioner if your child is being attacked online and your request for a social media platform to remove the offensive material has been ignore or refused.

The Office can request social media sites remove offensive material and can also start legal action that could result in fines and court proceedings.

Was this content useful?
Your rating will help us improve the website.
Last updated: 24 Sep 2019