6 Tips for Parents With Teens on Social Media
Social Media can be a big scary place if you do not know what you are doing. Teens join a social network . and they may not be aware of all of the privacy settings and precautions they need to take when using social media. As parents, it is our job to be sure they know how to use social media safely.
Tips For Parents
1. Educate yourself. You need to know what all the settings on the different services. Join the different social media networks now and learn.
2. Educate your kids. Be sure your kids know the risks of having a social media account. I show my kids the Dateline episodes with the online predators so they understand that it DOES happen.
3. Follow/Friend your kids. Yes, I said follow your kids and have them follow you back. If my kids do not want me to follow them, then I’m sure they are doing something on there they don’t me to know about.
4. Know their passwords. I set up the accounts with my kids so I know what the passwords are. I am still responsible for everything they do and that includes online, so I am going to be sure they are being responsible.
I also use a service called MinorMonitor that sends me updates when my kids post something that isn’t appropriate on Facebook or Twitter. It errs on the side of caution, so most of the time the posts are ok.
5. Set up online rules. Just like you have rules your family follows in your house, come up with rules for being online. Have everyone in the family sign the rules, so everyone is fully aware of them. Post them near the computer or on the bathroom mirror. They can read them when they brush their teeth every day.
6. Follow the rules yourself. If you are posting revealing pictures of yourself on your Facebook, don’t be surprised when your daughter does the same. You need to set the example.
In my family, online safety starts early. Just like we talk about strangers, when my kids are old enough to find YouTube on a computer, they know what can happen online. I want them to always be cautious whether they are online or offline.
In our house, joining social networking sites is a rite of passage at age 13 and then only if they have shown that they are responsible enough to handle having the account.
What tips do you have for monitoring teens on social media? Do you always set a good example for your teens? What are your thoughts about kids under 13 having social networking accounts?
Photos from Microsoft Images.