Photo credit Cynthia Stacey
As a parent I am constantly bombarded with the social media frenzy and the questions that accompany it. What age should they be allowed to use it? How do I monitor it? Helicopter parenting vs full on trust that they can handle it? It is a never ending circle of advice, scaring tactics and information overload that would send anyone toppling over the edge of insanity.
I’ve learned over the years that my job as a parent is to teach them right from wrong, arm them with the skills they need to make their own decisions and let them age appropriately deal with issues on their own. This applies to social media as well. My kids are on various social media accts and so far they have been successfully navigating this world and even teaching me a thing or two. That doesn’t mean I let them have free reign.
I have rules.
- I subscribe to every social media acct that they do. They have to follow me and I follow them.
- I monitor what they are posting. If I don’t like it, they take it down.
- All security settings are in place so they are never just public domain. Friends only.
- I teach them about the very real dangers of being online. Don’t talk to people you don’t know. Don’t post where you are. Don’t give out your email or phone number or any personal details.
- They have to show me their unlocked phone anytime I ask. I check who they are talking to and what they are posting.
- My favorite rule of all: If it feels wrong, it probably is. When in doubt ask me.
- I limit the use of it as well: homework first, not at the dinner table etc.
One of the advantages I have is that my kids inadvertently rat each other out. I actively listen to what they are saying, even to each other. “Did you see Becca’s Snapchat story?” hmm…I didn’t see that…”Becca show me your phone. Why am I not getting your Snapchat story?” Please explains can be very scary concepts. (*giggling to myself at my own ingenuity!)
So what about you? What are your thoughts on kids and social media? Any tricks to keeping them safe that you want to pass on?
Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat Oh My! Social Media, is a Parent’s nightmare! https://bit.ly/2NTZch7
Twitter, Instagram, snapchat oh my! Information overload! https://bit.ly/2NTZch7