Social media should be something your child will find a lot of joy in, and it can be a very useful tool. It’s a good time for your child to learn a lot about how they can use social media not only as a communication device, but a way to build a community around them. But there can also be a lot of risks associated with social media and how young adults can use them. Even as adults there are concerns we have to keep at bay when we use social media.
To help your child use social media in a responsible way, here are some lessons you can teach them.
Decide what age your child can use social media
You often see that children are using social media at a much younger age than you expected, but almost all social networks that we use require the user to be at least 13 years of age. This is a good time to allow your child to use social media, but in their adolescence it can be tempting for them to explore these on their own. Making rules early on ensures they are using these platforms at the right time and in the manner they’re designed for.
Set rules early on
Having control over what your child does is going to help with their confidence in using social media without help all of the time. They should help your child know what their limits are and how they can use social media each day. It’s a good time to help your child also understand why rules are set for them to adhere to – the risks associated with social media can cause issues later on down the line.
Examples of rules to keep often include setting time limits on how much your child uses social media each day, or taking their devices away from them before bed time.
Talk openly about what can happen on social media
Social media should always feel like a welcoming place, but it can easily go south if it’s not controlled. This is where you should always help your child become a lot more aware of the real risks social media can bring to your child if they don’t act, or become complacent.
For example, making friends with strangers online is a huge risk. It can cause a lot of issues for children if they let in the wrong people, which can cause a lot of concerns between you and your child if it’s not addressed. There are of course other risks, like online scams, or thieves operating in a child’s favourite places to hang out online. So keep yourself clued in on what social media platforms are of most interest to children at the time, in order for them to feel as safe as they can be.
Social media is something to use for advantageous reasons, if used correctly. Children will have a lot to learn about its use and how it can be perceived as a risk. But there’s a lot your child can pick up from you, family and from their own school like at this Sixth Form in Colchester.