Social media is all the rage. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or even SnapChat, children are using social media to connect with friends, follow celebrities they admire, and catch up on the latest news and events. But social media is also a dangerous world.
You’ve heard of the horrors of social media, right? You’ve heard about cyber bullying and grooming. You know that there are people out there who will pretend to be teenage girls to gain your daughter’s or your son’s trust so they can threaten and harm your child later on. It’s not surprising that many parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s social media if you do allow them to have something.
Is this the right thing to do? Should you monitor or is it an invasion of their trust?
Monitor with Their Knowledge
Keeping your children safe is the most important thing you’ll do as a parent. You want to make sure you know who they’re speaking to and whether they’re at risk of pedophiles. You need to know as much as you can about their friends in the event of cyber bullying. Heaven forbid that they’re the cyber bullies without necessarily meaning to be.
Monitoring your child’s social media is the best way to keep them safe. However, you don’t want to make them feel like you’re invading their privacy. It’s essential that you let them know you are monitoring their social media and why.
If they catch you monitoring at a later date, they’re going to assume that you don’t trust them. They’ll assume that you’re monitoring because you’re trying to catch them doing something you’ve told them not to. By making them aware when they set up the accounts that you want to access, you can help them understand why that you just want to keep them safe.
Discuss Questionable Situations
There will be plenty of topics that come up when it comes to events that happen on social media. One of those will be cyber bullying, whether they’re being bullied or they are the bully. It’s important to discuss the type of messages that are okay to send.
While you don’t want to stifle their opinion, you do want them to think about what their words will mean to others. While you want them to learn to take criticism, they need to know the difference between constructive criticism and being mean for the sake of it.
Then there are the situations that sound fishy. You need to make sure your children understand the importance of not clicking on links or on responding to messages from people they don’t know.
By letting your children know that you’re just there to protect and you are monitoring things, they’re more likely to come to you when there is a problem. If they get strange messages, they’re more likely to ask if you know the person and everyone can remain protected.
Avoid letting your children have social media accounts without monitoring. As they get older, you can step back but when younger, you need to know what they’re doing.