Monitoring children’s behaviour online is a worry of every parent these days, and Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden are addressing this issue in a new internet safety handbook.
Titled “Handbok för nätföräldrar” (or in English, “Kids Online A Parent’s Guide”), the book was developed by the Prince Couple’s Foundation and BRIS (Children’s Rights in Society). It was distributed last week to families of all children in Sweden turning ten this year.
Using candid language, including definitions of often-used teenage lingo, the book aims to give parents the tools to feel more confident about the constantly-changing landscape online.
It features advice for parents on how to manage their children’s screen time and online lives, quotes from teens with their thoughts on social media and the internet, and special attention to the topic of sexual harassment online.
The book can be downloaded in Swedish and English via their website.
View this post on Instagram
Vi är stolta att kunna presentera "Handbok för nätföräldrar"! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Handboken ska underlätta samtalet om livet på nätet mellan barn/unga och vuxna. Boken skickas ut denna vecka till alla hushåll i Sverige med barn som fyller 10 år i år och är ett samarbete mellan vår stiftelse och Bris. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Besök gärna vår hemsida som är länkad i vår bio där du kan ladda ner boken på svenska och engelska. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #nätföräldrar #prinsparetsstiftelse #bris
On the handbook’s website, the Prince Couple said: “The purpose of the book is to help you start talking to your child about what their lives are like online. You see, most kids actually want to talk to a grown-up about their online experiences. But many of them think that you wouldn’t understand. That’s what we want this book to change.
In the book, kids and teens share their own stories and thoughts about what happens online, along with tips and advice from experts and counsellors. Teaching you what kids do online and why they think it’s great. But also the things that are not so great, things that can be tough and difficult – and how you as a parent can help. Because one thing is very clear: kids want their parents to be present. Also online.”
On Valentine’s Day, Princess Sofia headed to Sveriges Radio, Sweden’s national publicly funded radio broadcaster, chatting about the new book on “P4 Extra.”
“I have small children who will grow up in the digital world, and their lives will be as much online as offline,” the Princess said.
“And although I am the first generation to be actually raised with the internet, it is so incredibly fast that I can feel anxiety about what they will experience. Personally, I have a slightly worse experience during the lifetime of the internet, so I felt that this is a manual that I myself want.”
One of the main focuses of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia’s Foundation is tackling online hate speech. During the lead-up to their wedding, the princess experienced a slew of online abuse aimed at her background as a glamour model and reality TV star. She frequently speaks out on the topic of social media bullying, saying in a 2018 TV interview:
“When my relationship with Carl Philip became public, I was greeted by a huge hate storm. People had opinions about me and my relationship, and more. It surprised me and knocked me over for a period of time. It was very tough. People had comments on everything possible, on what I do and how I look.”