Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay, and as parents raising a generation of kids who make their debut on social media even before their cud is cut, it’s essential we know the ins and outs of online sharing- if not for our sake but for that of our kids. There are specific guidelines which will make the world of social media a safe and happy one for our parents and children alike. Below are the top five things you should keep in mind when your kids go online.
- SET LIMITS
Social media is on round-the-clock, but that doesn’t mean you kids should share the same fate. Don’t allow your kids waste the best years of their lives in front of a screen. You must ensure your kids are spending more time in front of humans and less time with screens.
Social media can be quite consuming so parents should help maintain balance by taking their kids out on family outings, making sure they stay active in sporting activities, and even demanding devices be shut during family dinners. As with most things, parents should realize their kids look up to them for leadership and leadership begins by practicing what you preach.
- THE INTERNET IS FOREVER
As with kids, they don’t often think much about the consequences of their actions before undertaking it, so it’s the duty of parents to inform kids that the internet is forever and anything that happens on social media stays on social media especially with the magic of screen shots.
What’s shared on social media cannot just be ripped up like a note to a friend. What’s shared/commented/posted/texted online stays there and can’t be taken back. So as parents you must talk to your kids about thinking twice before they share snapshots of themselves or their thoughts online.
- ON SOCIAL MEDIA, ANONYMITY IS AN ILLUSION
Parents must inform their kids that even if they think hiding behind online handles or avatars to post anonymously saves them, it doesn’t as they still run the risk of being found out so they should behave accordingly.
Kids and teenagers should also be taught on how to post sensitive information on themselves online, particularly their whereabouts. For safety’s sake, location trackers within apps should be disabled, and they should be careful about posting personal information online, so they don’t unconsciously give out too much on themselves out on social media.
- AS A PARENT, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW
Experts agree that parents should play an active role in their children’s online lives and should be honest and open with their kids on the role they play rather than secretly monitoring them and hoping they slip.
Parents should even work with their kids to establish ground rules for online activity and monitoring which is appropriate with their child’s age and maturity level.
- TRUST YOUR GUT
The online world is huge and overwhelming and although it is difficult to stay on top of all your kids are doing, you should make an effort to do so. As a parent, if you don’t know how a particular social media platform works, you should not forget good old common sense and parental instincts. Even if you might have software which you use to monitor your kid’s online activities, you should not leave all the work to technology; if something seems off and you are sure you are not overreacting, take action.
Do not hesitate to contact us, subscribe to our blog for free, click here to arrange a FREE Consultancy meeting, send me an email at Nick@CFMGroup.co.uk or Follow me below on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.