Internet Safety:

Too much time online

To many parents it seems as though children and young people are constantly online.

Often they seem to be engaged in more than one task at a time; for example, downloading and listening to music while studying and chatting with friends or sending messages on their mobile phones.

The number of hours that children and young people spend online can vary significantly. There is no guideline for the ‘right’ amount of time for children to spend online, however, if their online activity appears to impact negatively on their behaviour or wellbeing, or that of the family, it may be time to discuss expectations and establish time limits.

It’s important to remember that some of the time your children spend online may be related to their education.

What can I do?

  • The longer you wait to address the issue, the more difficult it can be to overcome. So if you see an emerging problem arising from excessive use, act on it right away.
  • Talk to your child about the concerns you have and monitor what games, apps and devices are bought or used by your child.
  • You may like to install a program on the device your child is using which can be adjusted to limit the amount of time an internet connection will be available on that device.
  • Consider implementing family agreements about the amount of time your children can spend online. A similar approach can be used to limit access to devices.
  • If your child seems particularly anxious or irritable, or you notice them seeming isolated from friends or other activities, there may be an underlying mental health issue. Talk to your child’s school or your GP if your concerns extend beyond screen time.


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Has something happened online that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or sad? Talking to friends and family can help. It can also help to talk or to visit Kids Helpline or call them on 1800 55 1800. It is free to call and anything you say is just between you and Kids Helpline.

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