My daughter recently turned 13 and we got her an iPhone for her birthday. She keeps asking if she can start social media accounts like her friends and peers, but I'm still wary of the dangers of the internet at her age. While I'm happy she came to me before creating any profiles, the unknowns of social media and its influence is worrying. I don't want her to feel left out from her friends, and I know connecting via social media is very common in this generation. Is there a way to make sure she stays safe while she's on social media?
Skeptical of Social Media
Dear Skeptical of Social Media,
Your concern for your daughter's safety is not an uncommon one among parents of adolescents and teenagers! There are certainly a few steps you can take for peace of mind as your child navigates social media.
Having a conversation with your kids about staying safe on social media can go a long way. Informing your kids to not accept friend requests from strangers, to not reveal too much information about yourself, the risks of constantly being connected with social media, and general social media safety are a few topics to include.
As a parent, you may want to educate yourself on which social media apps your child is using. Also, making your own account and periodically checking up on their account can't hurt. By having your own account, you can learn more about the platform and be able to tell your child what they can and cannot do.
Here are 5 helpful tips to navigate social media and children's safety:
- Always be nice
- Think twice before posting
- Remind your kids would they want future employers to see what they are posting
- Don't friend or accept strangers
- Turn on privacy settings on accounts
Social media is forever. If you delete a post social media, it is never actually deleted forever. Everything your child posts, comments on, likes, etc., is apart of their digital footprint. Remind your child to only post appropriate content on social media because it may hurt them in the future.
As a parent it is crucial to be aware of your child on social media apps. Try to stay involved in a way that allows your child to know that you respect their privacy. Lastly, set a good example for your child on social media if you have your own accounts.
If you feel that social media is negatively affecting your child or straining your relationship, clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help work towards finding a happy balance with social media.
Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information or to schedule an appointment.