Keep Your Child Safe on Social Media

Posted by Tiara Swinson on February 02, 2022

child social mediaSocial media, like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are likely a large part of your child’s life. Whether they have social media accounts themselves or not, their friends and family likely do, and they will see how these things affect their lives. It is important to teach your child how to be safe online from a young age as the Internet becomes more and more prevalent in their lives. They need to know how to protect themselves from fraud, predators, and hateful influences.

Your plans for their social media use should include your child’s age, health, personality, and developmental stage. 

Here are some ways to help your child use social media responsibly and safely:

  • Plan media-free times together, such as family dinners, walks in the park, or game nights.
  • Similarly, hold family activities that promote wellbeing, such as playing sports, reading, and having fun conversations.
  • Discourage entertainment media while doing homework. Sometimes people like to listen to music or podcasts while working, but it is important that your child learns how to work without extra stimulation so they can learn how to properly focus.
  • Decide on media-free, unplugged places in your home. Your child’s bedroom, for example, could be a place without screens so they can properly rest and refocus.
  • Share your child’s rules and limitations for screen time and social media with caregivers or grandparents to help keep things consistent when you aren’t around.
  • Ensure the media your child is consuming is age-appropriate and intervene if needed. If you notice they are reading posts that have explicit content, for example, explain to them why this isn’t appropriate for them and ban that account from your child’s feed.’
  • Teach your child about how to be safe online. This includes treating others with respect online and offline, avoiding cyberbullying and sexting, being wary of online solicitations, and safeguarding their own privacy.
  • Get other parents, your child’s school, and your community involved to advocate for better media programs and for healthier habits for your children. 

With the prevalence of remote and online learning, your child will grow up online more than you may think. You need to make sure they are using that online space safely and effectively. The Internet is more than an infinite library of information and source of fun, it is a place where people enact their lives. Being safe there is just as important as being safe in the real world.

Source: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/The-Benefits-of-Limiting-TV.aspx#:~:text=Here%20are%20some%20guidelines%20for%20healthy%20media%20use.&text=Place%20consistent%20limits%20on%20hours,with%20devices%20such%20as%20smartphones.

Topics: Social Media, Parenting Tips, Bullying, Child Safety

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