Parent tips for Social Media
Parent Tips for Social Media- Did you know that 22% of Teens and Preteens log on to their social media accounts more than 10 times a day? A day. Also, 75% of teens have personal cell phones. Today’s youth are consumed with the idea of being able to share their lives via social media, and connecting with others. This can be a great thing, but also a dangerous one. With cyber bullying and catfishing running rampant on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram it’s important as parents to know how to help keep our children safe. I wanted to share some tips that I have learned about social media safety and pass them on to you!
Here are my parent tips for Social Media:
- Check your privacy settings! Not only is this important for making sure your computer doesn’t get hacked, it’s also important to make sure people that don’t know your child can’t see whats going on in their lives. You can check your Facebook privacy settings under your “settings” tab.(Similar setting pages can be found on twitter,instagram,etc) See below:
- Set your Parental Controls! Parental controls can block certain websites or programs you don’t want your child using. You can do this manually under your internet settings, or with programs like Net Nanny you can set the controls AND monitor your child’s online activities. You can also monitor your child’s phone activity with program like My Mobile Watchdog.
- Set some Ground Rules- Being able to be online should be a privilege, and treated as such. Explain to your child that having a social network page is something to take seriously, and taken away if the rules aren’t followed. Writing out a contract together with your child so they know what is expected would be a good way to explain your reasoning for certain rules, and make sure they really sink in.
- Keep the computer in a family room- Keeping a computer in a family room is best for monitoring your children’s social media activities without being intrusive. Studies show that teens are less likely to break internet rules if they are in the same room as their family.
- Send them a friend request! This is something some parents simply don’t want to do. But if you are really concerned about things happening on your child’s social media page, then adding them as a friend is an easy way to ease your fears. You can see exactly what is going on. (Don’t be that parent that embarrasses them though ha!)
- Make sure your child knows that once it’s posted, it will never go away! This is SO important. A lot of kids don’t realize that if they say a mean thing to a classmate online, or post a nasty photo, it will never go away. It will always be there, and can come back to haunt them.
- Be in the Know- Kids are so advanced when it comes to technology, and as parents we should be too. If you want to learn how to keep your children safe online, you have to be able to see what they see, and know how to work the networks they are on.
- Make sure your child is comfortable coming to you with social media concerns. Making sure there is a clear line of communication between you and your child is very important. If they are feeling bullied online, or someone they don’t know is trying to add them, you want to make sure they want to come to you and talk about it. This will keep your teen from doing something they regret, or not doing anything at all.
- Use the resources you have! Blogs, new sites, and the social media sites themselves have lots of resources on how to keep your child safe online. One of my favorite sites is CyberSafety.org which has great resources for all kinds of social media advice.
What are some of your parent tips for social media? Leave them in the comments below!