Nowadays, there are three things that everyone couldn’t resist; smartphone, internet, and social media. Everyone needs everything on their fingertips. Little did we realize, our little ones also are getting into it. Compared to our childhood, kids these days are creating their childhood memories and some even got their name out there through Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and many more!
A study by a regulator for the communications services in the United Kingdom, Ofcom, found that about 28% of 10-year-olds, 46% of 11-year-olds, and whopping 51% of 12-year-olds surveyed had a social media profile.
That is quite a number! But, like it or not, our kids are probably obsessing over it. So what can we do to keep our kids safe from social media?
It is never too late to start early. As a parent, we should talk about social media to our kids, before they learn it from their peers.
According to a social media expert, Ana Homayoun, M.A., P.P.S., parents should start the conversation around social media early.
In my experience, kids aren’t being informed about Instagram and other social media apps from their parents–they are learning from friends, peers, older siblings, and other influencers–so it is important that parents take an active role in encouraging conversations.
2. Make a Plan
Trust me, it will be so hard to for us to stop our kids from using the internet and social media. What we can do is to have an open discussion about social media.
Ask open-ended questions to your children – why they want to join it, what they think of a positive experience they will get, and who could they turn to if something feels uncomfortable & doesn’t go as planned? This discussion will help them to think proactively about how they would define and create a positive online user experience.
3. Set Time Limits
Work together with your kids to set an appropriate amount of time they should spend on apps each day. Our kids are still developing self-discipline, so it is not unusual for them to spend hours on social media platforms.
4. Enforce Good Etiquette
Things that happen online can affect how people feel offline.
Talk to our child about proper social media etiquette. Receiving means comments on social media can hurt a child’s self-esteem, and it is the same thing if they write one. Teach them not to use offensive or inappropriate words on social media. One more thing, as their mother, utilize the tools that filter out offensive or inappropriate words from social media, so then our kids won’t see them.
5. Practice What You Preach
This is the most important thing! Our kids are like sponges, in which they constantly learning by example. As a parent, we should be their role model. By practicing positive social media habits by ourselves, we are setting up our children for a positive, rewarding, and inspiring social media experience.
Who says it is too late to teach our kids about social media? Just set your time right, sit down and have a meaningful bonding session with them.
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