Social media has long since become a dominating feature in the lives of today’s teenagers. As parents, we may hope that our teens choose to spend their time elsewhere but in reality we must accept that social media is here to stay.
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Thankfully, there are steps that we as parents can take to ensure our children’s safety when they use social media. Here are 6 steps that will help you shield your teen from the harmful aspects of social media:
1. Set ground rules
Before you give your kids access to a computer, phone and social media accounts, set some rules. They can include the type of content your kids can access and share, when they can use their devices and consequences for breaking the rules.
2. Know the technology
As parents, we have to educate ourselves and know the computers, phones and social media sites our kids use regularly.
3. Engage strict privacy settings
All the devices our kids use should have strict privacy settings. These settings include who sees online social media posts and virus blocking on all devices.
4. Insist on full access to devices and accounts
I know teens will argue that this step is unnecessary, but they are less likely to share inappropriate content and more likely to stay safe when they know you will check up on them.
5. Teach kids to protect their online reputation
Kids can be impulsive and may not think about how their social media usage affects their ability to get a job or college entrance in the future.
6. Be a good social media example
Whether we want them to or not, our kids follow our lead. Let’s be a good example in this area as we practice smart online usage and etiquette.
These six steps are just a few ways we can monitor our teens’ social media usage. What other tips do you recommend?
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