“There are some very dark corners of the internet, some parents try to protect their children from this, but the reality is that it is very hard to protect them entirely, friends may have devices that they can access.”

Matt 5:30 – And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.


The best strategy is to have an open relationship where your children can come to you if something goes wrong.

It is important to educate your children about the dangers of sending nudes, people can post them on websites and they are impossible to take down, they can be there forever. Both you and your children need to understand that it’s illegal to produce (take a photo), distribute (send a photo), or possess (save a photo) of a naked child (anyone under 18); it’s called child pornography.

It is also important to tell your children that if they do make a mistake, they can come to you. If they do share nudes and they have no one to go to, they can feel isolated and some may consider suicide if they don’t know what to do. If they know they can come to a parent who will support them through the difficult times that can dramatically reduce the chances of suicidal thoughts.

We have covered cyber bullying in module 2.

When some people are on social media, they post things they would not post to someone’s face, a really good strategy to teach your children, is would they say what they are going to say about a person to their face, if not it should not be posted.

There are many things that can happen on social media, NetSafe has some fantastic information that can help people if they get into trouble, https://www.netsafe.org.nz/

They have a toll-free number that you can talk to them about any concerns, 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)

“Free” games that cost money

One thing many parents are not aware of is that many free games on the internet allow people to buy objects with real money. For example, many online games allow you to buy extra tokens or weapons for real money.

Some parents give their children their credit cards thinking this is only to verify their age and then they discover they get an unexpected credit card bill.

This article from the BBC shows what can go wrong, https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48925623

Distressing content

Sometimes young people can come across very disturbing content.

An example of this is the mosque shooting video. When something like this happens it is very important that parents know how to react.

Some parents thought only children who are psychopaths would watch that. When something like this happens, it is important to ask non-judgemental questions, many young people watched it thinking it was a game, or it just came up on their newsfeed without their consent.

If parents jump to blame young people are unlikely to speak up. Instead, you should try and have an open relationship where your children can come to you.

Some young people can develop PTSD from seeing something like that, if this occurs we discussed how to respond in module 3.