|Miss E staged this photo when we were away on holiday in April but sometimes this is reality!|
Parenting in the digital age isn't necessarily an easy task and what I've found is that there is no 'one size fits all' answer for every family. My son is now almost 15 and has been gaming online since he was around 8 or 9. Back in the early days it was playing on Minecraft on a closed server, so I knew who he was chatting to but nowadays he is everywhere, literally!
Do I worry about who he is chatting to and whether he is potentially being groomed or giving away sensitive information? Not particularly, but that's not down to naivety on my part, it is more about the fact that we have an open door and open conversation policy. I do let him have his laptop in his room but I can walk in any time and ask to see whats he's up to. We also regularly talk about what is happening with people he knows online, what I've read recently or whether he's had any close calls in his online relationships.
Thankfully nowadays, most of his chatting is done via Discord with his extended friend network from school and cadets, but there are still times and games where he will be chatting to a stranger and all he knows is the information they give him, and I'm grateful he has a questioning mind that doesn't trust everything to be as it seems.
Computing is one of his strongest skills and he is my go-to tech expert for anything I need doing, so truthfully his knowledge is far superior to either mine or my husbands and yes he could run rings around us. However, I believe that because we have given him trust over the years and always been available to talk about any topic without any judgement, that he has a good level of respect for our wishes.