Below are a number of strategies that can be used to help control the use of notebooks and mobile devices in the home.

No computer should ever be used in the bedroom with the door closed.

Lap top access is only ever in a common area, eg the family room or kitchen, so that other family members are often around and it easy for parents to keep an eye on what is actually being accessed.

Parents need to be aware of the ‘minimise’ key and the fact that students can change the screen in an instant to hide what they are actually doing on the computer.

'Screen time’ needs to be limited. Consider limiting time on the computer to one hour lots unless a significant assignment is being completed.

Distinguish between school work use and social use. Game time and social networking needs to be restricted. Negotiate with your child and be clear about what you consider acceptable. Be aware that both the social networking sites and games are addictive for some individuals.

Have ‘no go’ times for computer use. There will be times when a child should not be on the computer.

Enforce a limit on night time use depending on the age of your child. It is difficult to get to sleep if you have spent excessive time in front of computer screen prior to bed.

Make sure that there is no access to the laptop when students are meant to be asleep. We have had instances of students being on social networking sites in the early hours of the morning during the week. The only way to be sure that this is not happening in your home is to take the laptop and mobile phone and have them in your bedroom or in a locked cupboard.

Talk to your child about what they are doing on the computer whenever you get the chance.