Older children and teens just love social media, but many parents aren’t too happy about them using it. Social media has lots of positive aspects, but it can also be a dangerous place for kids. To help your child safely navigate the world of social media, take on board these five tips.
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1 . Set social media rules
To help your kids to use social media safely, it’s important to set social media rules for kids. Here is a few general ground rules that you might wish to set your kids:
- Instruct your children that they should only be engaging in conversations with people they know (instead of strangers).
- If they are talking to new people in the online world, these should be appropriate conversations with people in their age group.
- Ensure that your child is only using age-appropriate social media platforms (most sites like Facebook and TikTok etc have set age restrictions).
- Limit the amount of time your child or teen spends on social media platforms, (too much screen time can be bad for their health).
- Tell your children to think carefully before they post content, they won’t want to post anything that they’ll regret later or anything that’s unkind to others.
- Explain to your child that you will follow and monitor their social media accounts. Tell them that this is only to keep them safe.
- Set a good example
If you want your children to use the internet healthily, you must model this behavior yourself. Are you guilty of always being glued to your phone? Chances are if your child sees this behavior they are likely to demonstrate it too. Setting a great example is one of the best ways to educate your teens.
Talk to your children about the positive ways that you use the internet, and social media. Share your experiences and help them to develop a healthy mindset. If there are things you don’t like about social media, talk about this too. Having an honest conversation will help you to support your child with their online experiences.
- Invite your child to open up
Your child might not want to tell you about the websites and apps that they use, explaining that they must inform you. Tell your child that it’s important that you know which websites and apps they are using. Invite them to talk about what they enjoy about these apps and anything that concerns them. Talking about feelings is a great way to bond with your child, helping them to understand that they are safe and supported.
- Ensure that they understand the risks
To protect your child, you’ll need to make sure that they understand the risks involved in using social media. Talk to them about cyberbullying risks, sharing info with strangers, inappropriate content, and so on. If your child understands the risks of social media they are far more likely to follow the rules that you set.
- Privacy settings
When your child is using social media they must have privacy settings in place. Help them to set up private accounts, so that their information is only shared with their online friends.
The more that parents learn about social media, the better equipped they are to keep their kids safe. Having an open and honest discussion with your children is the best way forward. Without the right precautions, social media can be a toxic place for kids. To learn more on the subject, take a look at Eva Carlston Academy.
This is a contributed post.
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