#1 Online safety and social media
Social media – it’s a staple in our kids’ lives, but how big an impact does it really have?
In this first episode, Holly and Vernon ask how safe our little (and not so little) ‘uns are when they’re scrolling, posting and tweeting away. Heart Radio and Made by Mamma podcast’s Zoe Hardman shares her story on just how much social media can affect our children.
And Holly and Vernon take a closer look at how easy it is for kids to hit buy when playing games online.
Read about saving for your kids.
00:00:01 Vernon Kay
Hi everyone and welcome to a brand-new podcast. This is Parenting Past the Pandemic with me, Vernon Kay...
00:00:07 Holly Mackay
And me, Holly Mackay, founder of investment website, boringmoney.co.uk
00:00:13 Vernon Kay
This is not going to be Boring Money by the way, this is a brand-new podcast where we're gonna talk and unravel lots of dilemmas about parenting and stuff this occurred during the pandemic and how all of that is just one big ball of confusion, Holly.
00:00:29 Holly Mackay
We're going to be tackling some of the big issues out there, and as you say you know, having come through lockdown in 2020, I think lots of us,
00:00:36 Holly Mackay
Re-examining perhaps how well we have done as parents at this time.
00:00:41 Vernon Kay
Yeah, it's been a really weird time,
00:00:41 Vernon Kay
and I think there's no individual that can come out of the lockdown period and say it was great for us. It wasn't you lying because it was weird. You know when you say great it was great because you changed a lot of things and you adjusted.
00:00:56 Vernon Kay
And it was great for reasons that you never even thought about, things would happen before.
00:01:02 Vernon Kay
Do you know what I mean? Am I not making sense?
00:01:04 Vernon Kay
Or am I just as confused as the pandemic was.
00:01:06 Holly Mackay
No, I'm kind of challenging your word great there. I mean if I'm honest I found it really hard and there were bits of it which were fantastic as I did see more of the kid.
00:01:19 Holly Mackay
But actually, I saw too much of the kids.
00:01:22 Holly Mackay
So you know.
00:01:23 Vernon Kay
00:01:24 Vernon Kay
Let's establish your relationship with your kids straight away, shall we Holly.
00:01:28 Holly Mackay
Well, you know, what you will get from me is a very candid view of this coz I guess that's what were partly here to talk about today I mean, my son says, I'm not sure we have very many honest discussions about parenting coz I think with the whole kind of social media stuff out there everyone puts a sort of brave face on it.
00:01:45 Holly Mackay
But I don't know about you, but my kind of mums WhatsApp groups throughout the pandemic, I mean people were struggling because we were suddenly forced to be home schoolers. We were suddenly kind of coming face to face with our kids being online all the time. What does that mean us working at the same time? So, I don't know. I mean, it's been tough.
00:02:04 Vernon Kay
I guess so.
00:02:06 Vernon Kay
I think, what I meant with my initial statement was it's been great because we've seen life through a different lens, and I think that's me personally, I think that's what's interesting. That's what has made lockdown for some people positive and made lockdown for some people negative is because we carry on through life on that like a train going through a tunnel. You know we just see what's ahead of us and we just go for it. But because we've been put in a different situation for a long period of time.
00:02:30 Vernon Kay
I think it's made us adjust to what normality is.
00:02:34 Holly Mackay
Talking of sort of the online aspect of it, I did you, I found it really challenging cause I kind of before lockdown. I kind of had fairly clear rules cause I'm a bit suss, on sort of them being on social media, too much time on Fortnite and all the games. So, I use to say, you can have an hour screen time on Saturdays and Sundays, and to be honest, it was quite often a bit more than that, but you know, that's the sort of parameters, and then that kind of rule went out the window in lockdown. Because of School.
00:03:03 Vernon Kay
Early in lockdown or?
00:03:05 Holly Mackay
Well cause of schooling, they were kind of on laptops for school.
00:03:09 Holly Mackay
And then I was sort of in a way, nagging them to get, get online because they had to be on school. So, the parameters between.
00:03:18 Holly Mackay
You know, being online use to be solely for fun and then when it became about schooling, I found that really hard because suddenly they were just online all the time, and it became harder to police.
00:03:26 Vernon Kay
Yeah, that's true, but when...
00:03:28 Vernon Kay
Whilst the kids, so whilst your kids were at home where you working from home online
00:03:36 Holly Mackay
Yeah, I mean, and quite often doing things like hosting webinars or something. And there was one time we were hosting a webinar for 300 people in the finance industry and we had like a minute before I had to start presenting this thing and there was a bloodcurdling scream and my daughter was chasing my son across the garden with the Garden fork, her hand. And you know when you get those moments going right, we live in 45 seconds and I've gotta have this situation, nailed and then removed, you know and upstairs before we go online so you know it was.
00:03:53 Vernon Kay
00:04:03 Vernon Kay
Oh my gosh.
00:04:10 Holly Mackay
Just trying to keep the whole show going with this particularly tough but.
00:04:15 Holly Mackay
But it meant I didn't have a. Couldn't permanently be supervising them, so I kind of had to deal with them suddenly being able to sort of be online and as much as I might think I've got all the controls set up, I just didn't feel that I was sort of able to monitor it, as much as I use to.
00:04:31 Vernon Kay
Yeah that is.
00:04:33 Vernon Kay
Something that you know, I'm not really a forum person. I'm not kind of a person who, I like to solve my own issues, do you know what I mean? like my own problems. I'm not kind of like, oh I'll do this I'll do that, so DIY if there's a problem.
00:04:45 Vernon Kay
I’ll kind of figure out a logical way to sort it out. That kind of thing, and it's the same with our kids and online. We basically went to the App Store, that’s the first port of call, isn't it? For anything really these days and we found a huge selection and I'm glad there is a huge selection of apps that enable you to. I guess monitor in a Big Brother way which some people say is controversial, but I don't think it is when your kids don't know the difference between what's right and wrong and definitely content that's available on the Internet.
00:05:16 Vernon Kay
So, I don't have a problem with being Big Brother.
00:05:20 Holly Mackay
Do they know you're being your brother?
00:05:21 Vernon Kay
00:05:21 Vernon Kay
Yeah, yeah, they do. Yeah, because we explain it to them, and I think that it's only fair that.
00:05:25 Vernon Kay
They know that we're watching what they're watching because it's for their own best interest. Let's be honest, you know you don't want them stumbling across something that isn't for the eyes of an 11-year-old. So, we've downloaded a couple of apps on their devices that enable us to block certain content and also monitor what they're watching and how long they're watching it or playing for. And I think it's that.
00:05:50 Vernon Kay
last note which is really important because I think having kids stuck online all day playing a game which is inane and boring and doesn't mean anything, it does for them. There's no real outcome of being great at Minecraft. You know, maybe Sparks creativity, but it's not infinite, so I think that's really important that you do find somewhere that enables you to to protect them, because that's what it is. It's like a shield on their devices, enables only certain elements of the outside world to philtre onto their internet.
00:06:21 Holly Mackay
I think it's also the time thing. I don’t know about you but my son god he loves fortnight. He's hopefully weaning himself off it.
00:06:30 Holly Mackay
But I'm I. I really notice if he's on there for more than about half an hour, his behaviour changes the way he sort of speaks. Yeah, I kind of find it makes him quite aggressive and it's not normally like that.
00:06:37 Speaker 4
00:06:42 Vernon Kay
Does he does he does...
00:06:43 Vernon Kay
He do the thing where you game and you speak to people.
00:06:46 Holly Mackay
Well, this is this is the biggest thing. Actually, I find really frightening when they can chat to strangers in games. And I try and work out how to turn it off for them. He normally plays Fortnite now with his mates. But when he first went on there and set it up, you see I didn’t even know. How to protect him from talking to people in the game because I didn’t know you could talk to people in the game until I kind of looked at it one day. And I was like who's I don't know. Whatever their weird gaming name was, and he said I don't know.
00:07:15 Holly Mackay
I was like, you were chatting to them and it was just that whole sort of clanging moment. When you realise that this is massive world out there, your kids are in, and I don't know enough about it.
00:07:24 Vernon Kay
It's interesting how kids during that period have reacted to their different environments and being put in a different environment. You know, instead of schooling Monday to Friday, you know at home the discipline of getting up and you know some kids will get, our two had their laptops and we were really pleased in how discipline they were, I'll just explain that Phoebe and Amber are,
00:07:45 Vernon Kay
Two great kids but chalk and cheese.
00:07:47 Vernon Kay
Phoebe’s the Rockstar, Amber is the Dalai Lama. So, we've got one is very Zen. Who’s cuddly and Nice and another one who's like, right? it's me versus the world. Let's go for it. So, during lockdown. It was really interesting. How they both came together? Phoebe became a little bit younger, a number matured quite quickly because they want, they have no choice but to play with each other.
00:08:09 Holly Mackay
Did they not fight?
00:08:11 Vernon Kay
Well yeah, fight all the time, but not like the Gallaghers. They kind of they fight, you know it's quite funny you should say that. Just as a side note, our 2 girls speak the proper Queens English, so they don't have an accent that you know Tess and I have a northern accent, but Amber and Phoebe have these beautiful.
00:08:30 Vernon Kay
Wonderful clean crisp English accents. You know, it's awesome.
00:08:37 Vernon Kay
But when they argue they go even more posh.
00:08:40 Vernon Kay
So, it's quite funny. It becomes like a scene from Saint Trinians.
Where's my water? And your like wow, this is cool.
00:08:48 Holly Mackay
Sit back and watch Yeah, yeah, mine don’t by the way when they fight, I'm not sitting there. Vermin, feeling admiration.
00:08:56 Vernon Kay
It's quite funny. There is a point in parenting were.
00:08:59 Vernon Kay
Ive done it several times now where I've gone Oh my God, I've turned into my parents. Do you know what I mean? I think that's when you. When I was in college, I studied environmental science with and I shared a host with four amazing people who changed my life coz they have different outlooks on life and from different backgrounds in different personalities.
00:09:17 Vernon Kay
And I'll never forget we were sat in the front room of our digs a terrace house in Greater Manchester.
00:09:25 Vernon Kay
And it was one of those afternoons. Wet, rainy afternoon. Nothing to do, so we put on a film and we just thought, you know, we watched Easy Rider the iconic movie and one of them turn around says at what stage in your life will you know that you're old we kind of go Oh my God yeah that’s a great question, because now that I'm 46. I still don't feel old. I still feel 19. I genuinely feel 19. Alright I got a few creek's and shakes and aching bones here and there.
00:09:52 Vernon Kay
But I still have this zest for life in this vigour, to succeed and go out and fight and win. And this that and the other. We came up with after a huge debate about 2 1/2 hours that you know your old when you buy bath taps.
00:10:06 Holly Mackay
00:10:07 Vernon Kay
Taps, I don’t think I have, Vernon I'm Young. I've never brought a bath tap in my life. I didn't even know what you said.
00:10:12 Vernon Kay
Yeah, bath taps.
00:10:15 Vernon Kay
because you don't buy bath taps. No one in I don't know anyone, right we are in a room of 123456 people including us. Have you brought bath taps? No, have you no, no, no. No one buys bath taps.
00:10:31 Vernon Kay
But if you're the kind of person, if there's moment in your life where you go into DIY store and say excuse me Sir, where are the bath taps? Your old.
00:10:38 Holly Mackay
I wonder if it's curtains. I had someone who came to the house yesterday.
00:10:40 Vernon Kay
No curtains are different. No. Because curtains are an essential.
00:10:45 Holly Mackay
I talked to someone about Roman blinds yesterday. That for me is quite ageing.
00:10:49 Vernon Kay
No but, I think soft furnishings are interchangeable on a regular basis. You don't change your bath taps. I mean this, we are going off on a huge tangent here. I think it's relevant.
00:10:55 Holly Mackay
00:11:00 Holly Mackay
I think you tell. I know when I turned into my mum, I haven't said it yet. For me, it's when I turn round to my kids and say this is a house, not a hotel. Did you get that line?
00:11:09 Vernon Kay
oh yeah, I like that one.
00:11:11 Holly Mackay
Yeah, I haven't yet volunteered that, but it's it's unwill. I can feel it's it's coming.
00:11:17 Vernon Kay
Yeah, that’s definitely coming, because Amber the 11-year-old she has a tendency to.
00:11:22 Vernon Kay
Sit, rest and relax in certain space and then leave the certain space with everything that she's sat relaxed with in that space. Yeah, come on.
00:11:32 Holly Mackay
That's her job. She's 11.
00:11:34 Vernon Kay
Yeah, so with Amber, there's two things I can just show Amber, and she would come down and she knows that means tidying up and if she's awake.
00:11:41 Holly Mackay
You sound like Hyason Vokay, when you said that.
00:11:44 Vernon Kay
I know, I know. Well, this is it, Ive turned into my parents.
00:11:48 Vernon Kay
And then another one is, if she's not around because she's like a little fairy floating around the house
00:11:57 Vernon Kay
If she's not around, I haven't seen her for 10 minutes. I just shout Amber. Get off that, because I know that. She's sat on her iPod.
00:12:06 Holly Mackay
Let's talk about. Tik Tok, I wanna talk, I wanna know what you think about Tik Tok? Because my daughters 10.
00:12:13 Holly Mackay
And she's just trying to get into Tik Tok. Despite my misgivings, and she showed it to me cause I thought I can't just sit here being a grumpy old so and so you know, let's look at it, it might be really sort of a valuable contribution to civilisation, and I looked at it.
00:12:29 Holly Mackay
And it just, that made me feel from turning into our parents like a grumpy old so and so. Because it's just full of as far as I can see people doing pretty unremarkable things and sort of posting them up and trying to get loads of likes. And they just sort of pouting aren't they. Here's me and my bee stung lips in the glasshouse looking thin. You know everyone admired me and applaused.
00:12:52 Vernon Kay
Are you kids on... how old are your children?
00:12:53 Holly Mackay
12 and 10.
00:12:54 Vernon Kay
OK, so they are they quite big on social media. Have you allowed them to? Yeah.
00:12:59 Holly Mackay
No, I've I've kept them of it. I'm kind of holding out as long as I can. They don't have phones. And they don't have social media accounts.
00:13:07 Vernon Kay
What age are you intending on giving them a phone?
00:13:11 Holly Mackay
Well probably when my son heads off. He's going to secondary school next year so I think at that stage I'll probably have to give in, but I reckon I can get him one of those 45-pound Nokia things.
00:13:21 Vernon Kay
He’ll love you for that.
00:13:25 Holly Mackay
They can play with, what is it snakes or something? And they can send texts...
00:13:26 Vernon Kay
Well that’s another decision that you've got to make it, you know because.
00:13:30 Vernon Kay
Having a mobile phone like that is the equivalent of having a really bad pair of trainers in our day, you know, and kids are just going to go oh easy sunshine, you got the Nokia 6210? What's going on there?
00:13:40 Holly Mackay
are you telling me I'm being nasty?
00:13:42 Vernon Kay
I think you are.
00:13:43 Vernon Kay
Well, not nasty, It's you own decision, that's what we have to make obvious on any parenting podcast is that it's all down to you. There are no set rules of parenting. I don't think. I think there's one thing that you've got to teach.
00:13:57 Vernon Kay
Your kids to be and that's be a nice person. The heart of the families in the home and once you go out it's a completely different world because everyone's opinions are different. Similar but different. Yeah, and I think parenting the one rule is make sure that your kids are nice people, I think.
00:14:16 Holly Mackay
And how do you find?
00:14:17 Holly Mackay
I'm sort of curious talking about social media causes social media for you is part of your work isnt it?
00:14:23 Holly Mackay
if I get fed up.
00:14:24 Holly Mackay
or I'm having a fat day or I'm having a grumpy day. I just don't bother.
00:14:28 Holly Mackay
And I can leave it alone for a month. No one notices. No one cares the world goes on.
00:14:32 Holly Mackay
For you, you must have, I imagine quite a, kind of love hate relationship with it. Do you think that sort of, how do you even talk to your kids about social media when for you it's, isn't it an essential part of your life?
00:14:46 Vernon Kay
I guess. It is and it isn't. It's like you know, going back to your kids there will be a stage where they have to have a mobile phone. There will be a stage where they say I want Instagram. I want Snapchat. I want this that and the other.
00:15:00 Vernon Kay
And we’ve made should that Phoebe she's 16. She's on Snapchat.
00:15:04 Vernon Kay
Now she's on Instagram, but their private accounts so no one can go and find our daughter should they choose to go look. People Will you know for a fact they will, but you go to remember that social media, in my opinion, is someone looking in the mirror and seeing themselves but 100 times better than what they actually are?
00:15:25 Vernon Kay
That's what it is. But when people do put a picture looking really awful and bad, they make a statement and say hey, look, aren't I awesome because this is actually me.
00:15:35 Holly Mackay
You know, when I look on I don't go on very often, but when I look on Instagram I get quite fed up, especially my daughter as well. I found my daughter on something I don't even know what it was on my iPhone where you take a photo of yourself and then you sort of manipulate it.
00:15:50 Vernon Kay
Thank you filter it.
00:15:53 Holly Mackay
But the face she created for herself.
00:15:56 Holly Mackay
Look, look like an avatar. It didn't look like a human being, and that's what she seemed. She had kind of really elongated cat like eyes and mouth and it's just that. Is that really what you want to look like as you actually look like a freak.
00:15:58 Vernon Kay
Yeah, yeah, it's bizarre. It really is bizarre.
00:16:11 Vernon Kay
Thats what I'm saying, Social media is a big deal of people looking different and coming across different to what they actually are.
00:16:21 Vernon Kay
I think if you're that, that's you. That's not special, but if you are unique and all these kids want to look like everyone else, that's what I'm trying to say
00:16:23 Holly Mackay
But do you think your 16 year old daughter feels confident enough to think. I think it's really hard for the kids for kids to.
00:16:37 Vernon Kay
Yeah, I think it's one of those things like you always wanted to sit on the raft and float down the River with everyone else when you're a kid, you know yesterday exactly you don't want to swim against the tide. You want to be you want to do what everyone else does, so there's no peer pressure, which is really, really, really tough for kids.
00:16:44 Holly Mackay
Yeah yeah, yeah.
00:16:55 Vernon Kay
Because I experience as a kid, peer pressure is awful and you've got to kind of go with the flow, but as you get older, you kind of think hang on a minuet I'm me. I'm not like everyone else, and no one else is like me and I’m quite unique. And I think once young people start to realise that being unique is actually, I always say to my kids innovate don't imitate.
00:17:16 Vernon Kay
Try and try and be who you are.
00:17:33 Vernon Kay
So, Holly on the podcast. Each week, we have a very special guest that we bring on an we chat to all things parenting and we're going to start off with someone who knows everything about podcasting and everything about parenting because she has her own parenting podcast. Let's welcome Zoe Hardmen everyone, yeah.
00:17:52 Vernon Kay
Hi Zoe, how are you?
00:17:54 Zoe Hardman
I'm fine, but I just want to say I don’t know anything about parenting. I'm sort of winging it.
00:18:01 Holly Mackay
Oh no, we were relying on you.
00:18:02 Zoe Hardmen
I'm sort of winging it, but I think we all are as parents aren't we just sort of flying by the seat of our pants constantly? Like not really sure what's going on ever,
00:18:10 Vernon Kay
But that's what that's what Holly and I discussed is that, you know, I don't think that I said there's no right or wrong in parenting. As long as your kids are brought up to be good people because you know, we when you have kids no one says, Okay, you've got a baby boy or baby girl. Now you must take parenting lessons 101 they start tomorrow. It's like what I'm gone. You kind of learn as you go along don’t ya.
00:18:31 Zoe Hardman
I mean, imagine if somebody just came to the door and said right here's the manual and just follow this and you won't mess your children's lives up. I mean that, I'm still just waiting for the door to knock. But no, there isn't that. So yeah, I guess a baby comes into this world and then you just have to learn on the job, and you just do your best. I think that's the advice that we give people at Made by Mammas were just like listen to your parenting gut. That will always tell you the right, the right thing to do
00:18:53 Vernon Kay
when you when you started the podcast and when you realised that it was as successful as it is, let me ask you why do you think it was successful? What did you find all parents or on unsuspecting parents have in common?
00:19:09 Zoe Hardman
Yeah, it’s a good question. I think the reason that Made by Mammas has done well so far, and hopefully we're building this really nice community, but we just don't tolerate any form of parenting, shame or judgement. It's the one thing that really gets up my nose because it's hard enough being a parent. But then you know, if somebody else is saying to, well you know, you know you really should have done it like that or ohh is your sone not walking yet? Mine walks
00:19:33 Zoe Hardman
He's gonna walk, he's just maybe a bit slower than your son now, can you just?
00:19:38 Zoe Hardman
Go away politely. So yeah, I just think we create really safe space where parents can come to us and say I'm having problems with this. I'm feeling insecure about this. I'm worried about this and we just go right. Let's see if we can put you in touch with an expert who can help you or Georgia and I will go through some really, you know things that we've learnt along the way and that might work for you. It's a really safe space, right? So, it's a lovely thing online which gives me a lot of comfort.
00:20:03 Vernon Kay
let's stay and kind of float around the subject because.
00:20:07 Vernon Kay
Holy and I had a really good chat earlier on about social media and digital devices, and whether there's a limit on how much time you should let your kids on their devices or what age they should have social media. So, from your experience, talking to lots of parents on the podcast, what is the general consensus about? What age do you do? You allow your kids to see the outside world via social media.
00:20:27 Zoe Hardman
Again, that is a great question, and it's something that plays on my mind a lot because I have a profile on Instagram and you know, Made by Mummas was born out of being a parent and therefore all of our children, mine and Georgia. She's my partner at Made by Mummas, our children are on my Instagram account and it's only now that Luna is at pre school for five days a week that I was starting to take her off the grid.
00:20:56 Zoe Hardman
Because she will become recognisable, and I have to protect her so I'm now suddenly feeling confused about that and not knowing what the right thing to do is. You know I think it's very important for them to have their own choice and that in itself is me being hypocritical because I'm actually putting her on my social media and I'm not saying to her look do you mind if you know 59,000 people you know have a look at your face and what you are wearing and we're joking around and stuff so.
00:21:25 Zoe Hardman
Yeah, my husband and I discussed it a lot and I don't have the answer to be honest with you. I've sort of winging it. I think they will come an age where she will say to me, I want to be on Instagram, and you know my eldest daughter. My stepdaughter Isla. She's 8 nearly and she's already asking, you know, can I be on Tik Tok and can we do Snapchat and I have a phone and I'm like you're 8 there is absolutely no way you gonna have a phone. But it's already coming around. I think they're getting a lot older, a lot quicker and I think it's very important to educate our children as soon as we can. On the upsides of social media, how to use it, how to operate it, but also how dangerous it can be and how not to live your life. Through that screen. I don't want my children to be doing that.
00:21:57 Holly Mackay
And Zoe I’m interested in what you think about the sort of cyber bullying element of it, but I mean we haven't touched on it much. But I know throughout lockdown. For example, my kids were spending an awful lot of time online, all for schooling of course, and they were on Microsoft teams and just sometimes observing the spats going on with them and their mates.
00:22:29 Holly Mackay
And I think sometimes you know, if you are in a playground situation, and someone says something, it kind of bounces off you a bit more. But when it's written down, I sort of intervened in a few situations where they were being to use their language, toxic to each other. Well, I don't know. I found that really hard to sort of try and sort of walk them through it and say you know this stuff just magnifies somehow when it's all written down in on social. And I find that whole topic of cyber bullying something I
00:23:00 Holly Mackay
I'm aware of. I don't really feel I know how to help them through it.
00:23:05 Zoe Hardman
Yes, my biggest fear. It's my absolute biggest fear that something.
00:23:10 Zoe Hardman
Happens to them that I can't see because it's it's this messages that are coming through DMS are coming into their inbox and I'm not there to be able to protect them, and I think especially girls they are vulnerable to online bullying. As you said, cyber bullying and it just you cannot get away from it. You know it's during school after school. You know when they're in their bedrooms. I just cannot have that happening to them.
00:23:37 Holly Mackay
Do you think we've just glossed over it?
00:23:38 Holly Mackay
I mean we I can't remember now where we being bullied?
00:23:42 Holly Mackay
But just in different ways, like that when we were at school. I mean I was bullied a wee bit when I was one particular school, so I guess the difference was wasn't it when I went home and I shut the front door, it all sort of got left behind for another day. i suppose that’s what's changed.
00:23:57 Vernon Kay
Yeah, you're right, it didn't follow you around in your pocket. You carry your social media with you. It's always accessible on you on your device or therefore you know that the hate you're carrying around with you. It's literally a burden on your back, so to speak. But yeah, there is a flipside to that, because I do feel that if you take away all the idiots, there are people who have genuine, honest opinions on social media and sometimes and you can.
00:24:22 Vernon Kay
Look at it and say oh wow okay, it's today is a fun day on social media.
00:24:25 Zoe Hardman
I actually think we've got a real problem as a society and its again it's something that does frighten me and that's kind of why I don't get involved in things. I'm on Twitter, but I don't really ever tweet about anything.
00:24:36 Vernon Kay
Is that it's our conscious decisions Zoe?
00:24:38 Zoe Hardman
Yes, yes and actually.
00:24:40 Zoe Hardman
People have asked me over the years. You know you've got this platform, why don’t you do more I I'm not prepared to put myself in the firing line to take somebody else's abuse.
00:24:48 Zoe Hardman
And that is something that our children are going to have to deal with, so we have to be able to say to them, yes, look, here's this platform. You know, people have amazing careers on it. You can see the world through it. You can upload fun photographs, but when you get into the dark side of it, that is when we've got problems and we have to be able to control that. See it and protect it.
00:25:08 Vernon Kay
00:25:08 Holly Mackay
And Zoe do you think that means, then that you're more likely to actually want to keep them off. It will sort of talking about this and how it's sort of scary thing. As parents we struggle with it, I guess, sort of.
00:25:19 Holly Mackay
A natural response to is to want to pull down the shutters and just say no.
00:25:24 Holly Mackay
But from experience with me being a teenager and being told no, it doesn't always have the desired effect.
00:25:31 Vernon Kay
Yeah, I think it's something I think social media is like children getting their first pair of Nike airs, you know, it's a it's a pivotal moment in there in their lives you know so yeah, I've got social media now. I remember Phoebe was over the moon when we allowed to have Snapchat, so if there's one thing that I want, I want to ask about both of you about Holly as well. Is about self-image and self-awareness because we've all got girls.
00:25:55 Vernon Kay
On social media and the pressure that comes from, we talked about it earlier on Holly, but with the filters.
00:26:00 Vernon Kay
Girls following trends from social media that aren't real following influences. Shall we say who use filters? Who aren't their actual selves? How damaging is that if it is damaging? And how do we tell our kids that that actually isn't real?
00:26:17 Zoe Hardman
Yes, God, I mean.
00:26:19 Vernon Kay
I'm sure I I'm asking because I know for a fact we would have talked about this on your podcast.
00:26:26 Zoe Hardman
Yes, yes, I think for me it goes back to what we are teaching our girls and an I think it's very important. I'm very aware of the language that I use around make up about beauty, about appearance and about how they feel and really feel about them inside. So, it's not, you know. Obviously, I tell my girls that they are beautiful because they are not actually beauty to me is not about your face or your hair or anything else is about how kind you are. And I always try and teach them that you know you could be beautiful, but you could be an absolute a*****e.
00:26:56 Zoe Hardman
So, let's try and work on how good you are.
00:26:59 Vernon Kay
We know a few of them.
00:27:04 Zoe Hardman
Let's welcome being kind, and I think if you go into it fundamentally knowing that you know this whole facade, it's game, edited photographs, airbrushed images. It is a game that the media have, you know, fed us like foie gras that the influencers feed us. And actually, if our girls are strong enough to go, I see that I know it. I'm aware of it, but this is me and I'm going to be the best version of me.
00:27:28 Zoe Hardman
Just the way I am, then I've done my job and also there's a really amazing side to social media where we bring up women that are going to be on it and, and will they be using their voice to do things like, you know, empower other women, body confidence you know, sorting out anxiety, they can, we can, we can use it for all sorts of things that can really empower a whole generation of women rather than going.
00:27:49 Zoe Hardman
You know if we can start teaching them that from a bit earlier, maybe a little bit earlier on, then great and social media can be incredible. I mean, we have it at Made by Mummas, and actually I never get trolled on my personal account either, I Just won't I just won't tolerate any of it. So, I think you can create those safe spaces on the way. You can actually do a lot of good without being hurt.
00:28:07 Vernon Kay
Yeah, I think. I think it once. Once you opened up your account.
00:28:12 Vernon Kay
To be, not negative one. You know, like I think around the opinions spark opinion. You know, as soon as you post something that is, you know for a fact is a strong opinion and it's going against the grain. For some people, it's topical. It's in the news. There's always going to be a handful of people who will just light you up like a Christmas tree. They'll just go for you. And that is to me, that is social media. You take the rough with the smooth you know.
00:28:43 Vernon Kay
And I think it's important to us parents that we do educate our kids that it's a playground. It's fun, but there's always a Fox prowling round the outside is simple as that. So very on the Made by Mammas podcast, have you ever had a topical subject come up? That has really split your audience 5050 down the middle positive and negative.
00:28:54 Holly Mackay
More than one.
00:29:07 Zoe Hardman
Do you what, actually we haven't. And I think it's because and people you know we talked to experts that gives kind of give their opinion on things, but then there will always be another opinion from another expert or celebrity or a famous face telling their Storey. So, we kind of cover all basis. The only slight one, the only one that ever triggers, different people's opinions is sleep and that is because everybody feels that they have.
00:29:33 Zoe Hardman
The potion for the answer to get a good night sleep so everybody's like no. I think I've got it you know you do it this way. You do it that way but actually you know it never works anyway coz they never they see it when they want to sleep right?
00:29:46 Vernon Kay
Yeah, definitely, Zoe, thank you so much for joining us was really appreciated.
00:29:51 Zoe Hardman
You're welcome, what a lovely chat with you guys, good luck with it all.
00:29:56 Vernon Kay
So, every week Holly we will take questions from people who sent us questions funnily enough and we try and answer them to the best of our ability. So, here's the first question.
00:30:06 Speaker 6
How much time should my kid be using social media?
00:30:08 Vernon Kay
That's a good question. That's a good question, Holly. I'll leave that to you.
00:30:14 Holly Mackay
Oh, thank you. Okay my opinion, for what it's worth, I just think it's really dangerous this, but it's a double edged sword, isn't it? Yes, they're going to use it to communicate. Yes, it's important, etcetera, but I'm kind of old fashioned. I don’t think anything beats kind of face-to-face time with your friends getting out and about mucking about. So, mine are 10 and 12. I say almost zero. What about you? Is that draconian?
00:30:39 Vernon Kay
Well. I'm not, everyone's different, you know, as we heard from Zoe earlier on, everyone is different. Everyone, we said from the very start of the podcast that there is no manual to parenting. It's how you learn as you grow as you as your kids get older as the experience of being a parent becomes more fruitful and more fulfilling. But that's how we learn about how to be parent. From my experience with my two kids, I don't think it's possible to deny kids access to online content. But as a parent you have to be responsible for what they see and how they.
00:31:11 Vernon Kay
See it so one rule that we have is, come home we give them 20 minutes to get it out of their system because they have been in school all day, 20 minutes, there you go flush the system get on it. Do whatever you want and then it's either mealtime social time in the kitchen, or homework because our kids unfortunately get a lot of homework which I don't agree with. But we will come to that in another episode of the podcast. But I think that if you are getting to that point nowhere, you're asking yourself how much time should I give my son or daughter?
00:31:41 Vernon Kay
On social media, I would say give them the same length of time of their favourite cartoon. That's a good benchmark.
00:31:49 Vernon Kay
In opinion in my opinion.
00:31:52 Vernon Kay
Alright next question.
00:31:53 Speaker 6
I worry the Internet culture is toxic and can negatively influence my child. How can I prepare them?
00:31:59 Holly Mackay
I think it's really hard conversation to have with kids. Isn't that about what's real? What everyone else's life is really like, and understanding kind of without wanting to sound like Donald Trump, you know, fake news and all of that.
00:32:14 Holly Mackay
But I think for older kids something I found quite interesting as I sat down and watched a documentary on Netflix with them, the social dilemma and it explains to you how these companies manipulate you. And it explains to you what notification does to you. And so actually, I think it's quite helpful if you explained to kids the mechanisms of this and they can see that they're being manipulated. It slightly changes their reaction. So, I'm trying to explain to them rather than just saying.
00:32:43 Holly Mackay
Kind of no it's toxic. I'm trying to explain a bit about how it's working as much as I can behind the scenes, and I think then if they get it and they see that they're being slightly manipulated, then will likely want step away from it, but I don't know Vernon, it's complicated. What's your magic recipe for success?
00:33:00 Vernon Kay
Oh, I don't have a magic recipe. I don't have a magic recipe at all to online education with my kids, but I will say this buy something off Instagram. You know those adverts that pop up?
00:33:13 Vernon Kay
And there's like a rucksack or a pair of jeans or a shirt that looks amazing on Instagram and the guys look tremendous in it. The girls look ultra sexy and there foxy, and they're going on a night out and they look really cool because I've got this new backpack which you can't get into from behind. But the jeans are lovely skinny Jean and they look wicked and the girls got these blouses that make them look super sexy, buy that and then when it comes.
00:33:35 Vernon Kay
Through the post.
00:33:36 Vernon Kay
And you realise it's absolute garbage. That's a great analogy of social media.
00:33:42 Holly Mackay
00:33:42 Vernon Kay
Because I've done it 1000 times. Unfortunately, it's cost me a fortune. I thought oh I like that ruck sack, I like that pair of jeans, Tess would look great in that blouse. It's arrived and it's absolutely dreadful. Dreadful. Not everything is as it seems on social media. Okay, next question.
00:33:58 Speaker 6
How can I help my kids understand controlling what they spend online?
00:34:03 Vernon Kay
Oh that’s your ball Park Holly.
00:34:06 Vernon Kay
Leave that one to you.
00:34:06 Holly Mackay
I have a friend who told me last week that her son had spent £500 in app on on some game thing. So, the first thing is obviously some password control.
00:34:20 Holly Mackay
Don't set up sort of card details. If you buy something, once for them. Delete the card details out of it. I think the other thing is, I mean I have a card for my kids. I pay their pocket money in online and they can sort of set up budgeting tools they can save for things that they can start sort of see what they're spending more. I would. Yeah I I try and equate it as well with jobs just cause I've got to point work as this money. It was all digital, they weren't holding it.
00:34:46 Holly Mackay
They were almost talking about it like it was something out there in the ether and I've just acquainted it to jobs in my kids hate gardening and there's been, when it's sort of leafy season were coming in sort of autumn and this barrel load of Leeds they get £0.25 per Barrow load of leaves and they know how long it takes for Upper Barrack and take it to the bonfire right so I could have then talk about that if they're saying it's only 3 pounds. Mummy I go that's 12 barrowloads of leaves, so I think it's really important.
00:35:14 Vernon Kay
00:35:18 Holly Mackay
Even if stuff is happening digitally to try and give them something to to equate it to a job or some sort of work.
00:35:24 Holly Mackay
So that it starts to. It remains meaningful. Otherwise, it's just a swipe. Here in a tap, there.
00:35:30 Vernon Kay
So, have you noticed the value of money is different to kids who see it digitally than us? That saw it physically in our hand.
00:35:40 Holly Mackay
We had a sort of a piggy bank and when it was gone, it was gone. If you've got a card on just these these numbers it it doesn't mean anything and I think if your pocket money is going.
00:35:52 Holly Mackay
From the bank account into an app. I mean I remember my my grandpa used to. When we went to go and see them every time after we left, he pressed 50 P into the palm of my hand and there's this ritual and he would fold my fingers over it and then he would fold my thumb over my fingers and it was this sort of physical exchange. I think with everything being digital now there's a disconnect with kids and I think they need a reminder that money only appears in the app if, You work for it.
00:36:19 Vernon Kay
Yeah, but is that? Is that relationship of kids and money like my parents always said hold onto it will burn a hole in your pocket. That's one thing I'll never forget. My mum always driven into it. It will burn a hole in yout pocket go and put it away it will burn a hole in your pocket. But when kids are in the flipside of what you've just said, when kids are in control of their card and they monitor their balance of what they've got, does that give the responsibility of their cash?
00:36:48 Vernon Kay
Solely in their hands, that is a good thing.
00:36:51 Holly Mackay
I think it definitely has benefits because they also, what i like in some of these apps is that they can set up savings goals and so so they can start to experiment with the trade-offs and my son's incredibly sweet. When I first set it up, he gave all his money to charity.
00:37:08 Holly Mackay
but then my daughter didn’t.
00:37:09 Speaker 6
Get the touchpad.
00:37:13 Holly Mackay
My daughter gotta enough to, save up for a new pair of trainers in the news and it said it does false. I think the right conversations on balance. I think it's good.
00:37:20 Vernon Kay
I'm that responsibility of having money.
00:37:22 Vernon Kay
Of it being because I remember waiting. I think it was Thursday that my mum would give him my spending. Money was a lot but Thursday as well as a special day.
00:37:31 Vernon Kay
I think when you're in control of your money, it makes you respect it more. I think. So, giving kids their spending money and giving them the responsibility of looking after it.
00:37:41 Holly Mackay
Yeah, when it's gone, it's gone.
00:37:43 Holly Mackay
Right, the danger is factor online spending and when you've used your card in in games or or an app sort of purchases, I just think everyone needs to remember if you've bought something or enter their card details. You need to sort of set up passwords on it or just go in and delete the card details.
00:37:43 Vernon Kay
00:38:01 Vernon Kay
Do you think those kids are a good thing?
00:38:05 Holly Mackay
I think they are positive yeah; my kids sort of erm. I just think you've got to make sure when you have something like that that you're constantly reminding them, for me it's of the work with the tasks that they need to do before they get it. Otherwise, they don't equate these numbers appearing on this app with work and I don't know. Maybe I'm really old fashioned, but I think it's really important.
00:38:30 Holly Mackay
At this point, in each week we gonna chat money with the experts over at Viva.
00:38:35 Vernon Kay
Yeah, money might not be the sexiest, but let's face it as parents, it's one of the big questions. And this week we're answering your questions about the financial worries that kids face online.
00:38:45 Holly Mackay
Yet we're talking about starting those money conversations. How do you budget? How do you save and keeping an eye on online spending?
00:38:57 Speaker 5
Hi, my name is Alistair McQueen I’m head of savings and retirement at Aviva and it's great to be part of today's podcast. The Internet recently celebrated its 30th birthday in his brilliantly transformed their licence, so many ways, but it's also brought with it risks, including financial risks that we need to manage. So here are my top three tips for financial well-being in the age of the Internet. First take control.
00:39:24 Speaker 5
The Internet allows you to take control over money like never before where we want and when you want, and this is brilliant, so take advantage of the free services provided by your bank or building society in your insurer. Having control of your money gives us control over future. Secondly I'd say wait 24 hours if you see something online that you want wait 24 hours before pressing buy.
00:39:49 Speaker 5
That way you can resist the urge to spend today but regret tomorrow. If after 24 hours you still want it and you can afford it, go ahead and buy. You will be amazed how often today's must have feels less essential tomorrow. And third, be aware of financial scams. the Internet sadly increases our exposure to financial scams. For example, it's been estimated that one in 10 UK adults received an unsolicited call email.
00:40:19 Speaker 5
Or text in the past 12 months claiming to offer pension advice which may have been fraudulent.
00:40:27 Speaker 5
All ages are vulnerable to these financial scams, but it's now illegal to make cold calls about pensions, so if you receive a call an email or a text about something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. So just hang up or delete that message.
00:40:46 Speaker 5
To help you take control of your money, our website aviva.co.uk contains a wealth of information to help you manage your money and are my Aviva app helps millions of our customers manage their money when you want where they want.
00:41:01 Speaker 5
And finally, if you think you may have been exposed an attempted scam against one of your Aviva products, you can use our free online fraud hub, report the case and our team will investigate it for you. Just search for Aviva Fraud Hub. And back to you guys.
00:41:21 Holly Mackay
Well, that's it from us. Thanks for listening to the first episode.
00:41:25 Vernon Kay
I enjoyed that Holly, I hope we didn’t get too down on social media.
00:41:27 Vernon Kay
you know it is an essential, but I think that the main lesson that we can take from today from yourself and from Zoe as well is just be careful.
00:41:36 Vernon Kay
It’s a minefield out there, so I think you should be careful.
00:41:38 Holly Mackay
The Fox around the playground.
00:41:40 Vernon Kay
There you go the Fox around the pen. Simple as that. Yeah, thanks for listening. Hope you enjoyed it. Please come back with Episode 2 which will be out very very soon. Thank you.