Wake Up Wednesday - Top Tips

All of the Top Tips can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

Healthy Sleeping Habits

Dreaming of a decent night’s sleep? 🥱🛌 Many of us are – and it’s a particularly pervasive problem for young people. Concerningly, research has suggested that around 70% of teens get less than the recommended 8–10 hours’ sleep per night. The effects of poor-quality sleep on a developing mind, of course, can be harmful over a prolonged period.

Although a significant portion of under-18s struggle for shut eye, there is still plenty we can do to support them in getting the beneficial rest they need during those formative years. Compiled in conjunction with our friends at award-winning mental health charity Minds Ahead, this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide has tips on helping children to develop healthy sleeping habits 💤

Managing Screen Time

99% of current children will own a smartphone before they reach 18 📱👶 With phones and other devices offering an increasing number of ways to pass the time, it can prove difficult for young people to set them aside. As a gateway to messaging services, games, television, music and more, digital devices can become borderline indispensable items in a young person's life.

Studies have shown, however, that managing a child’s screen time can have positive impacts on their cognitive development. This week, our #WakeUpWednesday guide provides you with some simple but effective tips to help you bring your family’s screen time down to a healthier level, while suggesting alternative activities that are far less reliant on technology.

Smartphone Safety Tips

One in three 8-year-olds in Britain own a smartphone 📱 and that proportion rises to more than 90% by the time children reach 12 📈 This concerted increase – driven by factors both personal (blossoming independence) and practical (the transition to secondary school) – makes it all the more valuable for young people to know how to use such devices safely.

Indeed, more than half of parents (52%) surveyed by Ofcom admitted to worrying about their child being bullied via their mobile phone – and with hazards like scams, screen addiction and inappropriate content to consider, that’s far from the only risk around. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week pulls together some simple but solid smartphone safety tips 🛡


“The #1 teen dating website in the world” 🤔😲 That’s the claim of MyLOL, which offers 13 to 19-year-olds the chance to rate each other’s pics, send private messages and contact strangers online. If that sets your alarm bells ringing, you’re far from alone: law enforcement agencies and schools in several countries have seen fit to issue warnings about the platform ⚠

Among the main issues is the fact that MyLOL doesn’t have a reliable age verification method – meaning there’s no foolproof way to stop anyone outside the platform’s intended 13–19 audience signing up for an account under a false age. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide also highlights potential concerns around in-app purchases and the use of geolocation for sinister reasons.  

Encouraging Open Conversations at Home

Children can often be guarded about their emotions or any difficulties they’re experiencing 😶 This reticence can extend to chats with their parents. A study by the Office for National Statistics found that 64% of children reported regularly talking to their mum about “things that matter”, and even fewer (45%) held conversations of the same kind with their dad 💬

It’s incredibly important, of course, for young people to have someone to confide in when they’re confused, upset or unsure of themselves – and to know that they can do so without fear of being judged or punished. This week, our #WakeUpWednesday guide explores how to encourage open and honest discussions with children, empowering them to open up if they need help.

Encouraging Open Conversations at Home

Around one in five headlines online are clickbait 🖱️🎣 That’s an estimate from experts at Stanford University, who conducted a study into this phenomenon which has gradually extended its reach to almost every corner of the internet – powered by a strategy of snagging users’ attention by any means necessary rather than a legitimate desire to inform or enlighten 👀

As that statistic indicates, this manipulative marketing strategy is difficult to avoid online. There’s still plenty that can be done though to limit its influence – especially in relation to young people, who are often more susceptible to sensationalist headlines. Today’s #WakeUpWednesday guide details the potential hazards around clickbait and has expert tips for avoiding them.

Encouraging Open Conversations at Home

Quality merchandise 👠 Fair prices 👍 What’s not to love? 🤔 The possibility of bagging a bargain and the ability to sell your own unwanted items have made online marketplaces like Vinted and Depop into an attractive option for anyone looking to save money or make a little extra cash for themselves in these challenging economic times. 

Unfortunately, however, these services (and numerous others like them) can still be misused by scammers, so it pays to remain vigilant for the risks associated with shopping apps. Fortunately, this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide is on hand with some helpful pointers to protect young people (and yourself) from potential exploitation while doing business with others online. 

School Avoidance

Statistics from the Children’s Commissioner found that in the 2022/23 academic year, 22.3% of all pupils were persistently absent – a significant increase from 2018/19, when that figure was 10.9%. This lost time can have a notable impact on children’s development, learning and overall wellbeing.

The specific reasons for school avoidance are sometimes hard to pin down – and it can be even harder to know how best to help absent children return to education. That’s why this week, our Wake up Wednesday guide breaks down some of the causes and effects of school avoidance and provides advice on how you can help young people triumph over this potentially damaging cycle ⛓️💥