Not all social media apps are bad – in fact many are very useful, functional, education and just good old fun! Technology is a massive influencer in all our lives now, and our digital native kids are living this first hand in a way we sometime can’t really appreciate.

Our job as the responsible adults in their lives is to guide them on how to use this available technology, whilst understanding they’ll make mistakes along the way, and empower them to be aware of how they behave online, and the impact that has on them now, and in the future.

In much the same way as we teach them to ride a bike, we must teach our kids how to be online, what is acceptable and what’s not, and what to be on the lookout for. You don’t just jump on a bike and ride off, you have trainer wheels and a parent or responsible adult with you. When you graduate to two wheels, you are taught all the road rules to keep you safe, what to look out for, and there are rules around where you can go, based upon your age and maturity.

Being online is exactly the same. Once you’re of an age and stage where you have more independence, you still need to understand and follow the rules to keep you safe. You need to keep your wits about you when playing in the digital playground, because sometimes it’s not all as it seems, and you need to be responsible for your actions.

Ok, so we know we need to keep them safe, but that's easy to say, but sometimes hard to do when we don’t know enough about it either – as it’s not like we grew up with it! Everything changes online quickly, so we no sooner have a grip on the latest app or game and then it changes. So, we have to become nimble ourselves, to teach them how to navigate through this ever-changing online landscape – it sounds exhausting right..

This app guide is just that, a guide as of right now, July 2018, as to which apps are hot with our kids and what you need to know about them. One, or more of these could be gone tomorrow, or the functionality might be updated next month. But you can be sure that as one disappears more pop up in its place – it’s just knowing what the new one is called and what to be on the lookout for. And its knowing what you need to be on the lookout for that it tricky – because sometime what looks like a safe “nothing kinda app” may be something more sinister…

So, parents what can you do? You can learn what you need to know to help navigate your kids through this digital world, one app/game/platform at a time. Just learn what you need for right now. Is your child on Monkey/Snapchat/Yubo etc? Then learn enough about the app to make an informed decision if you’re happy for them to be there and see what security/privacy settings are available in the app to keep your child safe there.

Perhaps your child is a gamer Minecraft/Roblox/Fortnite. Same thing. Learn enough about it so you understand what it’s all about (and why kids love it – because they are MAD for these games) make an informed decision on if its allowed and your family rules and then lock it up in the settings to a level you are happy with.

You don’t have to learn all the things about all the technology in one go. Just learn what they’re on now, apply it, talk to them about your family boundaries around online use and then when the next “cool thing” hits, go and learn that.

I know I’m simplifying it a bit here as kids often have multiples on the go at any one time, but don’t get overwhelmed, learn what you need to know, apply it and then check on it from time to time in case your children “accidentally” reverse out a setting they don’t like (I’ve heard that can happen lol).

In a time when we have seen so much heart break around cyber bullying, pornography and predatory behaviours, its vital that we do what we can to manage our kids online. This is the world they live in. It’s on us to teach them how to be in it and that means we need to know how to be in it.

So how can you learn what you need to know quickly and simply? We’re parents too, so we understand that you are time poor and don’t really need to learn all the things about all the apps, you just need to know what’s relevant to you right now.

Our courses will step you through each app with short videos that show you exactly where you need to go and what you need to do to secure the platform. We give you an overview of each app and what it’s all about and we also address the risks on each one. Each video is kept short and practical. You watch what you need, when you need it, and you can come back to it and rewatch at any time.

Access to ALL the courses is a flat $10 per month. There are no contracts, just pay month by month for access to the courses. If you don’t want access to it all, then one course is just $6 per month.

Check out the course example which is accessible from the homepage of our website to get a flavour of the type of content and how it is delivered, then signup to the course which is relevant to you.