TEACHING YOUR CHILD SOCIAL MEDIA SMARTS


Photo source :Pixabay
Photo source :Pixabay

We are raising a generation of children who think it is absolutely normal to carry out conversations with people in real time from the other side of a screen.

How do we remind them that face to face conversations are more important  and more nurturing in the long run?

How do we teach them that technology helps us make our life better and that in the end life ,real life in the real world matters more than screen time?

Human beings are social creatures and the need to be socially connected is an intrinsic part of  us,we want to belong to someone,to a group, a cause,something.

Social media is a good and a bad thing,where do we draw the line at  teaching  our children how to make good use of it and protect them from the dangers lurking in a highly connected world .

The Good

  • One remains connected with friends and family.
  • You get to share ideas with other people and expand your knowledge base
  • You get to meet and interact with people with whom you share similar interests.

The Ugly

  • Social media can be the cause of cyber bullying or social media shaming for perceived wrongs
  • Criminals and peodophies do hide behind social media ccounts .
  • It is easy to lie about your age when registering for a social media account.

How can we teach children how to be safe when they enrol on social media?

1.By being a good  example.

Set a good example with your gadgets and devices,do not hide behind a screen when you get home to catch up on your social networks.When your teen does the same you will have no basis with which to reprimand them.

Meal times are usually not the best times to be checking the funny videos your colleagues from work sent you.

2.Think before you hit enter

Do not post unbecoming photos of yourself or your children at anytime.

A picture of yourself sloshed at a party will be hard to explain to a teen when you extol the virtues of being sober.

3.Guidance

Guide them with their first use of social media,sites like Facebook allow one to join if they are at least 13 years  but this may be higher in some jurisdictions.

Become  an internet aficionado of sorts,keep abreast of trends and what is happening in order to be able to best advice your teenager.

The best placed person to advise your child on the good and bad of the internet is you, as a parent or guardian and not a peer.

4.Set privacy controls

If internet access at home is through a commonly used device be sure to set up privacy controls to protect your child.

A good rule of thumb is to ensure access to the internet is in a common area in the house like a study room,living room .

If you have wifi in your house then ensure it is restricted to common areas in the house until your teens are older.

5.Respect and being safe

Teach them not to follow the crowd,not be part of any bullying and especially not to friend strangers.

What other guidelines would you like to share on bringing up children in a world that is increasingly becoming more connected.

We would love to hear from you.

Xo,

Ina

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