In today’s world, things change so fast and it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the latest trends. In the past decade, the use of social media has skyrocketed, and with its benefits has also come a lot of challenges. This is particularly true for parents trying to raise kids in this social media era.
There is often a fine line between wanting to protect your children from the risks of the online world, whilst also allowing them the freedom to grow up in what we could call the ‘new normal’.
When is your child ready for social media?
In general, if your child is under the age of 13 they are not legally allowed to join social media platforms. However, it’s important to remember that this is a minimum age and some children are ready to start using social media earlier than others. A child who is taking an active interest in what you’re doing with your own phone or computer, or asking about what social media apps you use fits within this category.
What are the risks?
The main concern for any parent should be the privacy of their children. It’s important that they have access to a device that is secure while still under your control. When you consider how many apps exist and what they’re used for, you can begin to see the potential risks that exist if your child’s activity is monitored.
Unfortunately, with the advancement of technology, some site owners have decided to breach security by sharing information without consent from the user. This can be incredibly harmful for your child’s online identity and privacy as it can leave them open to inappropriate attention and bullying. It’s worth taking note of the safe sites for your child, but also ensuring that they have kept personal information private while on other platforms.
Educating your children on social media
By talking to your kids about social media platforms, you can teach them valuable lessons and ensure their safety. It’s an opportunity to discuss privacy settings, what information they should or shouldn’t share, and how to protect themselves from cyberbullying.
The best way to approach this conversation is by taking a positive but firm approach. It’s important that your children understand that there are dangers involved in the online world and we can’t protect them from everything, but we are here to provide support if they ever need it.
In conclusion, there are a lot of benefits to kids being on social media. For instance, they can make new friends, explore their interests and connect with relatives from across the country or even the world. The challenge for you as a parent is to educate them on the other confronting realities of social media. Finding the right balance on how much to supervise your children’s social media activity will depend on many factors, and will often be challenging. Focus on keeping an open line of communication so that they can reach out to you when they need it.