October 5, 2016

6 Ways To Protect Your Kids From Social Media

6 Ways To Protect Your Kids From Social Media

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These are some scary times, and they are not going to get any easier either! If we don’t teach our kids who else will? We are their parent; we are not their friend. Yes restricting them from the internet, phone or computer might upset them.

They will survive…we did!

But, seriously, we do need to protect our children from some things! It is like swimming in the ocean, if you swim out too far is hard to pull them back in. Setting boundaries and controlling social media use will help prevent them from getting too deep! It is not too late too! Yes, it is better to start early but protecting your children is more important, so it is never too late.

Here are just 6 Ways To Protect Your Kids From Social Media

1. Monitor – Everything! You are the parent. What are they playing, watching and hearing on their phone, computer, and TV? What kind of friends do they have on their Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Periscope and Instagram account? Who do they talk to? We have an Out and Open policy, so I can see at all times what my child is doing and who they are talking to. I tell my kids, it is not that I do not trust you; it is that I do not trust who is talking to them!

One click can take you to a whole other site where they should not! Check their apps to be sure all the safety settings are in place. For example, Instagram you can have a Private Account. Meaning, when your account is private, only people you approve can see your photos and videos on Instagram. Your existing followers won’t be affected. Check into all their social media accounts for this setting.
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You need to know who they are approving as well. Which brings me to my next point.

2. Communication – Talk To Your Child. They will be upset and mad if you do not communicate with them why you are doing what you are doing! A great example is Kim Kardashian’s robbery this week. Posting photos of where you are and where you are going and doing is a perfect example…of what NOT to do! You are asking people to come and steal all your money. Am I sorry she went through that? Yes, but could it have been prevented? Absolutely!

That is why when we go on vacations we post photos after we return home from vacation. Telling people you are away is an open invitation for someone nowadays to break into your home because they will know you are gone! If you don’t advertise that you are away, then you are ready to go! So talk to your kids! Explain to them how social media can be very deceiving. You can think you are talking to a young girl or boy your age, but they aren’t! I’m not saying scare your child and make them fear the world, but there is a difference between giving them the knowledge to have a healthy fear of this crazy world we live in too!

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3. All Access Pass – Yes I am talking about their passwords. If they don’t want to give you the password, they are hiding something! You can give them privacy; I’m not saying read every letter she or he sends out but just KNOW who they are talking to. If you are not sure, ask who they are. Invite them over for dinner. I do not let me child go to anyone’s home until I have met the kid and their parents. I want to know what type of environment my children are in. But, back to social media, know all the passwords!

4. Security – Having that peace of mind as a parent is very hard to come by. But installing a monitoring system can allow you to see what your kids are doing and who they are talking to as well. Especially when it comes to little kids. I know my daughter started playing with my phone at 3 and she would go from my music, play games on apps and even Facetime my family. We only allow a certain amount of TV, phone or computer because I’d rather have them reading and learning that way, but having a security knowing what my little ones are viewing is so crucial.

Also turn off the location setting on their phone. This is easy to do. On an iPhone just go to Settings – Privacy – Location Services – and make sure it is off.

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5. Set Alerts – You can set Google Alerts to know what they are searching. This is just a simple tool that can help you know what your kids are viewing and it is sad but sooner than later you will have to have that talk about drugs, or the birds and the bees… if that is what they are still even calling it now, but you get what I mean.

6. Be informed – The world is not the same as when we were growing up. There are new nicknames for things that I had no clue about, and it is just insane. Be in the know. Use the NIDA site to help you be informed on what is going on! When you think, Oh no, Not my little sweet Sue or James…That’s when you are wrong and don’t wait for it to be too late! I loved this tip from another mom. She keeps all the chargers to all the devices. So when they need it charged they have to hand over the iPad or phone.

Just make sure you Establish All The Rules and make sure that it is clear, and they understand. One other rule we have is that they are not allowed to clear out the history, message or apps off of their devices!

Make sure they know, You Love Them and want to Protect Them!

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