Here are five ways you can employ to regulate social media activities for your children, curated by experts from best online casino real money USA.
- Keep an Open Dialogue With Your Children
A huge chunk of young people’s social lives now takes place online—and you can either work with that fact, or against it. Communicate with your kids about their social media use and openly discuss your expectations and limits for their online behavior.
These discussions are an opportunity for you to learn from them and to impart the important parenting stuff: safety, guidance and supervision. You can teach them about using secure passwords and not posting personal information—and simultaneously get them to explain the newest TikTok challenge to you. You may never be able to shield them from everything or know every detail of their online lives, but keeping the conversation going means you won’t miss out on the essential safety talks. Making the rules clear, and frequently reinforcing them, also means they won’t be able to say they didn’t know any better.
- Educate Children on the Risks of Social Media
In addition to going over ground rules, it’s important to discuss with your children the risks the internet poses. This will help them understand why your rules are important and could make it easier for them to spot warning signs. They may know more than you do about the latest trends and memes online, but kids aren’t always aware of the threats that are out there.
Links and downloads can lead them to phishing scams, viruses or malware. Remind them that not everyone is who they say they are online, and to never meet an internet friend in real life without extreme caution and parental supervision. Also tell them about risks of fraud and identity theft and how to avoid them—and that they may be even more susceptible because of their age.
Make sure they understand that once something is written or posted online, it’s out in the world, for better or worse. Encourage them to tell you immediately about any strangers who reach out to them online—particularly anyone older or who makes your kid feel at all uncomfortable. Let them know that you’re a sounding board and guiding hand for them, and that they won’t get in trouble for coming to you with questions or concerns.
- Follow Age Requirement Guidelines
While you probably want to keep your kids off social media as long as you can, that probably won’t be forever. Sites that collect data from their users have to follow U.S. federal law that requires them to notify parents and gain consent before allowing anyone younger than 13 to sign up; it’s part of a government effort to keep kids safer online. For instance, TikTok is one of the many platforms with this age requirement, and they say they’ll take action if they catch people violating the rule.
However, it’s easy for kids to lie about their age when signing up for accounts. As a parent, it falls on you to supervise what your kids are doing online and enforce your own rules with your family. If your kid is of age and wants to join a platform before you feel they are old enough to do so (say, if all of their friends already have an account), consider extra ways to limit and monitor their online activity such as parental controls.
- Set Ground Rules for Social Media Use
Have a conversation with your kids about what they’re allowed to post, the accounts they follow and how often they’ll be allowed to use social media. Lay out your ground rules as a team, and clearly communicate the penalties you decide on. They should know that there are consequences for their behavior online, just like in the real world; if they mess up, they’ll need to take responsibility and accept those consequences.
Try to be considerate and a little flexible here. A simple rule that seems reasonable to you could feel like the end of the world to a kid. For example, your desire to shut down social media use after dinner may shut them out of chats with their best friends who get online every night at that time. Ensure they avoid platforms like online pokies for real money if they don’t understand them.
- Stay Up to Date on Your Child’s Privacy Settings
This is one of those times when being familiar with the social media platforms your children use will come in handy. Some platforms make profiles public by default, so it’s best to check out their privacy customization options. In general, you’ll want to check back on each platform’s privacy settings regularly, since settings can be changed at any time.