Social Media Tips for Parents
Being a parent is hard enough, but being a modern-day parent has grown to be more difficult than ever. Parents are now expected not only to raise their children but also to help them navigate the world of technology and social media – which is constantly changing. But you don’t have to go it alone when it comes to helping your child understand social media and how to use it properly. Here are some tips to help.
- Communicate with your child about the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media: The best way to keep your child safe on social media is to talk with them about it. Have an open conversation with them about the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media. Let them know that you’re there for them if they ever have any questions or concerns, and be sure to follow up on their online activity regularly. Keeping communication lines open will help ensure that your child stays safe while using social media.
- Limit screen time: In addition to talking with your children about social media, it’s important to set limits on their screen time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should have no more than two hours per day of screen time. This includes all types of screens, including social media. If your child is spending too much time on their phone or other devices, consider limiting screen time.
- Avoid posting personal information: Teach your child not to share personal information like full names or addresses with strangers. These details can be used by others to find out more about you which can lead to other unwanted consequences.
- Remind them of the long-term consequences of their posts: Never underestimate the power of a photo or video online. In this day and age, anything can go viral in seconds which is why it’s important to remind your children that one bad decision could follow them for years after they post something on social media.
- Stay informed on social media trends.: Social media is constantly changing. Take the time to follow industry leaders on social media, subscribe to blogs, or read articles from reputable sources online, so you are aware of changes.
- Learn about the platforms they are on: If you’re not sure about how to use a particular social media platform as it pertains to your children, take advantage of tutorials and other free resources available online so that you can be better informed moving forward.
- Set guidelines for how your child should use technology: You want your child to use social media in a healthy manner that is productive but not distracting. For younger children, this may mean monitoring them while they are using social media or asking them to be in the kitchen or living room while on devices. For older children, setting expectations about what is appropriate and having conversations about their usage may be all that is needed.
- Act as a good example for your child(ren): The best way to keep your child safe on social media is to be a good example for them. Show them that you’re using social media in a responsible manner, and they are likely to follow suit. Avoid posting anything that could potentially embarrass them down the road and set reasonable limits on screen time. Children tend to model the behavior they see – even when it comes to social media.
Navigating the world of technology and social media can be confusing – especially with children. But if you use some of these tips and stay current on what is happening, you can keep your children safe and help them learn to use it safely and effectively.