Be honest about the situation
Help children cope with anxiety by providing accurate information.
Children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events. Parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers have a particularly important part to play in reassuring children at this time.
Children will react to and follow your verbal and non-verbal cues. If you stay informed and realistic, it will be easier for you to reassure children effectively as well.
They also need to feel that any fears they may have can be talked about and addressed. Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.
You know your children best. If they have a lot of questions, consider how much extra information would or wouldn’t be helpful for them to know before replying.
Make sure children are safe and cared for
Alert Level changes mean that some children will have less contact with trusted adults than usual. If you’re worried that a child or young person, you can contact Oranga Tamariki. This could include if you know a child is not safe or is not with their parents or caregivers.
Contact Oranga Tamariki, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Keep children safe online
During the COVID-19 pandemic many people have spent more time online. While the internet helps us connect with people, there are also risks. Knowing how to stay safe online can help protect you and your whānau.
For more information on how to keep your children and young people safe online visit the following Netsafe websites:
- Stay connected, stay safe (external link)
- The best online safety tips for lockdown (external link)
- How to create an online safety plan (external link)
This is a good time to learn about the use of tools such as filters, parent controls and privacy settings to manage access to appropriate content, screen time and privacy.
- Parental controls guide (external link)
- Privacy settings on social networks (external link)
- Privacy settings on devices (external link)
- Switch on safety (external link)
- Online Safety Parent Toolkit (external link)
Appropriate online content for children and young people
We are watching more movies and shows and playing more games than usual. The Classification Office’s website has resources and advice to help you make good choices about what your children see and play. It also has guides for parents on how to talk with older children and teens about what they’re watching, including pornography.
You can report concerns about material you or your children have seen to Information.Unit@classificationoffice.govt.nz
Reporting online harm, illegal material or inappropriate online contact
It is illegal for anyone to send or publish threatening, offensive or sensitive material and spread damaging rumours. Netsafe provides resources and advice on a range of online safety issues such as bullying and abuse and scams. You can report an online incident to Netsafe and get free expert advice.
If you find any illegal material online, you can report objectionable material to the Department of Internal Affairs.
If anyone in your family or whānau receives inappropriate contact online, you can make a non-emergency report to the police or call 111 for emergencies.