What’s the biggest milestone in a child’s life in 2018? Using the internet and social media apps of course, what were you thinking it would be, talking. 😉
Suddenly the world is at their fingertips it’s new, exciting, fun and scary at the same time. As parents, deciding on when and where our children are online is a full-time job. We try to guide our young ones down the right path. Instead of fearing the day our children get phones and start using the internet, we should consider the benefits and values of it.
Here are 5 Important Tips before jumping in:
1.) Find a Social Media Mentor For Your Child: Children need someone to show them the ropes when it comes to distinguishing the right and wrong ways to behave online. This can be anyone who continually uses the internet responsibly – a parent, a teacher, a coach, an older sibling or cousin, a counselor, a scout leader, or a babysitter.
2.) The Value of Texting: Texting can be a very important tool for your children to keep up with friends and family members. If your child has a question about an upcoming class project, a text can be sent to a fellow peer in just a few seconds. Plans can be easily coordinated between your child and their group of friends. A parent can receive short text updates from their child if they are not at home. The key to using texting in a safe way is avoiding group chats with people your child may not be friends with and setting designated times where your child can use their cell phone at home.
3.) Ask This Question Before Posting: “Would you want your grandmother, teacher, or future boss seeing this?” If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t post it. This is a great guideline for your kids to post by.
4.) Sign This Social Media Contract With Your Child: A new cyberbullying monitoring service called BulliPatrol has created the perfect social media contract that is free to download so you don’t have to make one up! This tool can be used to start a conversation with your child about establishing online boundaries and understanding the responsibility that comes with having social media accounts. This way, you and your child can come to an agreement and have a typed set of rules and guidelines to follow. Click on this link to download your free social media contract: BulliPatrol Social Media Contract
5.)The Unspoken But Universally Known Posting Rules: Kids have made up their own rules for the different social media applications. They typically follow an “only post one thing per day” on Instagram specifically, it’s a little bit more flexible for Facebook and Twitter, but generally posting is limited to 5 times and under for these sites as well.
It’s a whole new world out there for parents and kids. Together we can navigate it safely and actually enjoy the ride!
Till next time,
If you hear of someone that has a child being cyberbullied please share this resource with their parents. How to Stop Cyberbullying