Tweenagers; they’re not quite teenagers but are starting to show an interest in all things teen. Like it or not, your tween is probably already obsessing over Instagram, but before they make an account, have a read of the steps below to make sure you get them started on the safest way to use social media.
Teens and social media: Talk to your child about social media
Most children will learn about the different social media apps from their friends, not their parents. To ensure your children are getting the best advice, talk to them first about the different apps that are out there and how they work. This will encourage safe use from the outset and help them avoid the dangers social media can pose.
Recommended Reading: Teaching By Example: 7 Important Things Your Child Should See You Do
Monitor their use
When your child is starting off on social media, it’s important to monitor their behavior online. Make sure they understand the risks and benefits associated with the account by regularly discussing with them what they are doing on each platform.
Teens and social media: To ensure your child’s personal information is not shared on the internet, make sure privacy settings are established and locked by a password. Set ground rules with your children, that their social media audience should only be made up of people they know in real life and make sure that chat settings only allow friends to chat to and comment on your children’s profile.
Talk About Trolling
Cruel comments can hurt anyone, but they can be especially painful to teens on social media that don’t have the life experience to brush them off. Set filters on child’s account to remove any offensive or inappropriate words or content from their profile and feed. You should also talk to them about trolling to ensure they are aware of how their own comments should not be hurtful to others.
Set Time Limits
Tweens are still developing self-discipline, so it’s not unusual for them to spend hours on social media platforms. Work together to determine an appropriate amount of time they should spend on apps each day, whether it’s 15 minutes or one hour. You can also take advantage of Instagram’s Activity Dashboard, which lets you control usage and limit distractions like push notifications.
Teach Them Accountability
Cyberbullying is increasingly common nowadays, however, Instagram lets users control bullying by removing hateful comments, reporting negative behavior, and blocking individuals.
Practice What You Preach
Teens on social media copy the behavior of their parents and learn by example. By practicing positive social media habits yourself, you’re setting up your children for a positive, rewarding, and inspiring social media experience.
The following are useful apps for parents to monitor social media use:
- MamaBear – This app has many useful features including social media monitoring, and location tracking and alerts. You can monitor Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook activity to know when they have new tags, check-ins, or upload photos. You can also be aware when inappropriate language or indication of bullying are posted to their profiles by building a restricted words list on the app.
- YouTube Kids – YouTube introduced this kid-friendly version of the app which only includes content suitable for children. You can also use the app to block channels or videos, keep tabs on their watch history, turn the search facility on or off, set a timer to limit kids’ screen time, and report unsuitable videos.
- Net Nanny – This is software program that filters web content and sets time use limits across multiple devices. The software allows you to create different profiles for each of your children, and automatically filters web content for each user based on whether they fit the Child, Pre-Teen, Teen, or Adult profile.