When to introduce your Kid’s to Social Media is a question that is on every parent’s mind, it is a different day and age than when we were kids. Our parents have never been faced with this decision that surrounded the internet and Social Media. We grew up in a time where we spent our time outside and our cue to go inside was the street lights going off. Currently, we are faced with tough decisions like the internet, social media and how to keep our children safe.
The first thing to think about with your children and social media is are they mature enough to handle hypothetical situations, like cyberbullying or being approached by predators. Teach them early, about boundaries and what is appropriate to post. If you do not know them – THEN THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND. PERIOD!
Cyberbullying another issue that we did not have to deal with as kids. When we were kids you could say something, and it eventually went away, not today. Once something is posted, you cannot take it back. I cannot stress this enough to my son, think twice before hitting enter.
If you do not want your teachers, coaches, future college admissions officers and yes, your mother to see, then do not post it. Use the Grandmom rule, if you don’t want your grandmom to see it – Do NOT Post it!
The key is if you are going to allow your children to be on social media you need to lay out the ground rules from the start. Make sure your kids understand what the consequences are if they do not follow your rules.
Here is the first rule. Make sure to have access to your child’s social media, make them give you their passwords for all accounts. And follow them as well. Another critical point is to make sure you turn off all location services in settings. If your child decides to be on YouTube, make sure videos are private and not public.
There are hundreds of Apps to help you monitor your child’s smartphone and social media. It depends on what platform you are on and what type of phone they have, there is plenty of research to figure out what is the best fit for your child’s safety.
It is essential to make your children understand that you are trying to keep them safe in a way that does not betray their trust.
Finally, you want to make sure that you are always an example of social media for your children.