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4 Tips a Parent Should Know About Their Kids Using Social Media

It’s 2015 and social media is omnipresent. When they wake up in the morning, the first thing many people do is check Facebook on their smartphones. When they head to work, they might spend their breaks on Twitter. At dinner, they might post pictures of their meals to Instagram. As adults, we are still trying to figure out social media- what the etiquette should be, and what an appropriate amount of time to spend on social media is each day. This makes dealing with the social media habits of children challenging. If you don’t know how you should react to social media, how can you set parameters for your own children? Here are some tips for your children on social media.

  1. Wait till they are teenagers. This one takes care of itself, in some ways. Most social media sets have age requirements. This means kids can’t sign up for accounts until they are 13 or 14 years old, if not older. There are kid-oriented social networks, like Club Penguin and Fantage but they tend to be small and controlled, meaning your kids won’t be exposed to content they should not be at their age.
  2. Talk to your kids about social media. When they do reach an age where they are regularly using social media, talk to your kids about it. Ask them what they use it for, what they like about it, etc. It’s important not to be harsh with them about their social media use, but you do need to engage in a dialogue with them about it. Teach them what you know about social media etiquette, and how to use social media in a healthy way.
  3. Help them if they end up in a dangerous situation. If you discover that your child is in a dangerous situation on social media, whether they are being bullied or harassed, make sure to take action to help and protect them. If they’re being harassed by someone at their school, notify the school. If it’s someone else, notify proper authorities.
  4. Schedule time together to disconnect. Spending time with your children is always a good idea but an even better idea is to make sure that you’re not distracted by your phone while spending quality time. Lead by example and focus on your kids during this time will ensure that they do the same.   

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