European School of The Hague tackles Internet Safety with Parents

As parents in the digital age, our lives are dominated by mobile devices and distracting screens, whether it’s for the news, online payments, calling grand-parents, emails or social media. As our children learn from our example and pick up the iPads and SMART phones we give them, it’s critical that we help them, from an early age, develop a consciousness for internet safety.

Today, this means parental control settings, safe search filters, protecting their identities, keeping them safe from predators, and helping them avoid mistakes that will follow them into the future. 


Carma de Groot, assistant deputy director of the European School of The Hague (ESH) The Hague primary school says “Taking an active role in your kids' internet activities helps ensure that they benefit from all the wonders of the world wide web without being a victim to the potential dangers.


“At ESH, we believe that parent education builds strong families and communities. Stichting BeAware’s presentation has helped educate, equip and empower parents to help their children become responsible digital citizens. Our ICT co-ordinator, Lorna Levack is passionate about teaching children about safety in technology use.”


Presenters, Maike Smoorenburg and Kelly Roelofs, from Stichting BeAware, emphasized the importance that parents recognise the pervasive role technology and the Internet play in their children’s lives. 


Says Smoorenburg, “In ongoing conversations with your children, there will be plenty of opportunities for parents to comment, teach, and reinforce your family’s values and behavioral expectations, to help your children learn to be more thoughtful and responsible technology users.”.


Every parent should equip and educate themselves with the knowledge and resources needed to protect their children from online predators and cyberbullies, as well as cyber security risks and dangers related to social networking, online gaming and mobile devices. The sooner parents start, the better. Parents need to guard their children’s online privacy as the “net does not forget”.


Learning new skills is hard, and yes it does take some time. But if you don’t take time to learn about the internet, your child might have a bad experience that could haunt them for the rest of their lives. The trick is to be proactive before it happens, and don’t assume you know enough to keep them safe.


One grateful parent at the European School The Hague’s Internet Safety presentation said (this was an) “Excellent initiative, more should come!”. 


Safer Internet Day is on February 5.