Getting involved in your kids’ Wattpad experience
By coming to this page, you’ve shown that you want to be a part of your kids’ Wattpad experience. That’s great! You can make a huge difference to help your kids have the best possible experience on Wattpad and help us make it a creative, safe, and welcoming community.
“What protects children online is what protects them offline. These are life skills, literacies and safeguards that are both internal – respect for self and others, resilience, empathy, and a moral compass – and external, such as good modelling, parenting and teaching by caring adults, peer mentoring, digital and media literacy, social-emotional learning, thoughtful use of protective technology, family and school rules, well-designed digital environments, and well-established laws against discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and crime.”
Anne Collier, founder of Net Family News
Helping your kids get the most out of Wattpad
Wattpad is all about three things: creativity, learning and community.
Sharing and critiquing stories is a powerful way to help kids develop their creativity and their ability to give and receive feedback – skills that go a long way toward success. (In fact, a study by IBM found that 60% of CEOs feel creativity is the most important quality for leadership.) It also lets them get used to presenting their writing – and themselves – to an audience.
Wattpad is about more than just sharing your writing, though: it’s also about giving and getting feedback, making your stories the best they can do, and improving as a writer. Users get a chance to learn from more experienced writers and, as time goes on, become teachers and mentors themselves.
Finally, Wattpad lets users be part of a community of people that share their interests. Research has shown that online communities can have a positive effect on kids, especially those who may be less connected to their peers offline, by connecting them to people who will support, encourage and listen to them. Not only that, but science has shown that reading fiction can make us better at feeling empathy.
You can help your kids take advantage of these by being involved in what your kids are doing. Just like your kids’ classes, sports or activities, what they do here on Wattpad is important to them. Ask them questions about what they’re writing, what they’re reading, and what they want to do next. If they know that you’re interested in the things that matter to them, it’ll get them in the habit of talking to you about what they do online.
"Many teenagers can be very self-conscious, and afraid to be themselves or show their emotions to people close to them. I know that I was initially very nervous about showing my poetry to my family, for fear that it wasn't good enough, or that they wouldn't like it. But with an account online, anyone can post poetry, and let out emotions that they don't want others to know about, or write poetry that they felt wasn't good enough to show to others.”
- Abby Meyer, Watty Award finalist
Keeping your kids safe
The risks kids face online fall into three categories: CONTENT (from seeing unwelcome or inappropriate content online,) CONTACT (from “meeting” people they don’t know online), and CONDUCT (from doing hurtful, dangerous or inappropriate things online.)
There are steps you can take to make your kids less likely to be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing content online, and to be more prepared when they do come across it.
This section will best prepare you to talk to your kids about the two major contact risks kids face online: inappropriate communication and cyberbullying.