Technology is growing. They’re not going away. Your kid is probably already obsessing over Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or even Twitter, comparing their lives to online personas that are being presented to them on an everyday basis.
Social media and the internet; they’re not designed with children in mind. While there are many ways social media can be used in a positive way, there are also ways where its use can easily be abused.
The least we parents can do is talk to their kids about it. Below are some helpful tips to get your message across when broaching such topics with your kids.
a) Be Reasonable And Practical
Don’t be too controlling; telling them to stop using social media altogether is counterproductive. They may not be using their phones at home, but what happens when they aren’t home with you? Talk to them through things like privacy settings, sharing your age online, and how you can never really delete things from the internet. This conversation is meant to build trust and empower them to make wise decisions on their own.
b) Lead By Example
Be the person you want your kids to be on social media. Think twice before you post something on social media. If you don’t want your kids bullying people on social, don’t engage in bad behaviour on social media. If you don’t want your kids posting indecent pictures of themselves, don’t post such pictures yourself on social media.
c) Keep The Conversation Going
As social media platforms keep evolving, the conversation on social media must also go on whenever possible. You may start with asking them what’s latest; any social happening that’s currently being circulated widely on social media that they’d like to share. Make them talk. This sort of conversation helps foster a trusting relationship and make conversations easier down the line.
Vincent, J. (2017, December 11). Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society. Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/11/16761016/former-facebook-exec-ripping-apart-society
Ben-Joseph, E. (Ed.). (2018, April). Teaching Kids to Be Smart About Social Media (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth. Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html
Talking to Kids and Teens About Social Media and Sexting -Tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Talking-to-Kids-and-Teens-About-Social-Media-and-Sexting.aspx
Making social media safe for your child. (2019, June 13). Retrieved March 21, 2020, from https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents/issues/social-media-and-safety