WhatsApp logo on mobile phone

Once at secondary school your child’s social life should hopefully blossom and develop. By that I mean making plans with friends after school or the weekend, chatting to them outside of school and connecting, not just in person but online too.

There are many ways to connect online but I find the best way for this to happen is to use WhatsApp. Not only is WhatsApp free to send and receive messages, it is great to create groups of people so that you can have a conversation with many people all at the same time.

It can be difficult for your child to know where to start with developing friendships outside of school and WhatsApp can really help. Suggest to your child that they get the phone numbers of the children they like at school. Then get them to put them into groups on WhatsApp, especially if they feel there are natural groups already formed. If not, they can just use the phone numbers to chat with individuals.

The natural groups are good for when there want to do something social with a small group and don’t know who is free. Contacting friends individually might be good if your child is stuck with homework.

Easy to use – yes. Free to use – yes. Safe – I think so. It is just a matter of what to say and suggest when making plans. It is always about where, what and when. If your child can make a suggestion then who knows what response they will get? Hopefully a successful one with your guidance and instruction.

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