“Like” it or not, social media is part of our everyday lives—including your kids.
“My kid spends so much time on social media. That can’t be good for them. And how do I know they’re being safe?”
Whether you give social media a thumbs up or react to it with a sad or angry emoji, there are steps you can take to make sure your child or teen is safe on social media.
Think Twice, and Be Nice
Make it clear that you expect your kids to treat others with respect and to never post hurtful or embarrassing messages. And ask them to always tell you about any harassing or bullying messages that others post.
Remind teens to avoid posting specific locations of parties or events, as well as phone numbers.
Teach kids not to share anything on social media that they wouldn’t want their teachers, college admissions officers, future bosses—and even grandma—to see.
Privacy settings are important. Go through them together to make sure your kids understand each one. Explain that passwords are there to protect them against things like identity theft. They should never share them with anyone, even a boyfriend, girlfriend or best friend.
If your kid gets a friend or follow request from someone they don’t know? Decline.
Set Time Limits
Have you noticed how hard it is as an adult to stop scrolling? Imagine how hard it is for your kid, whose self-discipline skills are still developing. Work together to determine an appropriate amount of time they should spend on apps each day, and hold them accountable.
Practice What You Preach
Like adults, kids learn by example. By practicing positive social media habits yourself, you are setting up your children for a positive, rewarding and inspiring social media experience.