The world was different when I was a kid. Technology was beginning to develop, and we didn’t have tech devices in our homes. We respected each other and lived by the rules.
As technology grows fast, we find ourselves in a world of information and knowledge. But somehow we have lost our human values along the way.
The Need For Tech
How can you say no to your kid when his/her friend has a smartphone, PlayStation, Nintendo, gaming computer, tablet, or social media account? So, we surrounded our kids with various tech devices.
We bought them happiness and bought ourselves freedom.
Virtual Communication & Social Media
Our kids replaced real friends with virtual ones. Parks are empty, and kids are in their homes, making friends online.
Internet platforms where people from all over the world gather and share experiences are social media. Most people have social media accounts, including our kids. They use it to communicate and share content and experiences with friends, but sometimes even strangers.
Potential Risks of Using Social Media
We must teach our kids that there are rules that should be respected when they are online. Otherwise, they can face unpleasant issues.
Parents must talk to their children about the importance of keeping information private because of the risk of hacker, scammer, bully, and predator attacks. Studies show that 37% of children have experienced someone insulting or harassing them online.
Having control of our children’s lives and protecting them in today’s tech-filled world is a must. We can’t forbid social media accounts (of course, we don’t want to hurt our kids’ feelings), but we can set rules and boundaries.
Setting Up Rules and Boundaries
Our kids need to accept our rules and time limits for using social media. We don’t want them to end up as victims of cyber attacks. Therefore, parents must teach children the following rules:
- No sharing pictures and information with strangers;
- No chatting with strangers;
- Respect bedtime and screen-time limits;
- Make education a priority;
For example, a healthy modern-day habit is to let your children use tech for 1-2 hours only after they finish their school tasks.
We can’t ignore the fact that technology and social media often are harmful, yet we must use them to complete everyday tasks. That is why educating our kids about the possible risks of social media is the first thing we must do.
Parents should approach children about ways of correctly handling their social media accounts (what they post and comment about).
Being informed reduces the risks of your children getting attacked by cyberbullies and predators that are present and active on social media.
Red Flags on Social Media
The term red flag probably rings a bell for you. Red flags are strange signs, manners, and behavior that might lead us to think there is something suspicious or wrong about the person that’s using them.
There are also red flags regarding social media and communicating with people online, such as:
- New Accounts
If a newly created account messages you posing as a company, giveaway, or friend, the chances are high that it’s fake.
- Requests to Open Links
If a suspicious account asks you to open weird links, don’t do it! You’ll risk sharing your personal information and even getting hacked if you click on unknown links.
- Money Requests
Don’t send money to friends, family, or charities unless they verify it’s truly them.
- Requests for Sharing Personal Information
If a suspicious user asks you for personal info such as an address, credit card, and phone number, block the user.
Parental Control Apps
You’ve probably also heard about parental control. It’s a group of tools that help parents monitor their children’s online presence (no wonder children hate them). In the following paragraphs, we’ll go over the best and most useful parental control apps.
Every iPhone offers you the comfort to check what your child is doing online. Just follow these steps: Settings-> Screen Time-> Content & Privacy Restrictions-> Content Restrictions.
It is a great platform that guarantees the safety of every member of the family. Just get it on the Play Store and adjust the controls just how you like.
This is a perfect app for parents that want to know what their kid searches for, where they are, and what they’re doing. It ensures the safety of your children and offers you options to deny access to unwanted websites.
Importance of Parental Monitoring
We as parents must educate our kids that installing parental control is for their safety. We don’t want to interrupt their privacy, we only want to protect them.
We can’t be with our kids all time, and they need to respect our rules. Otherwise, we can always deactivate their social media accounts (that might be too harsh tough).
Your children having a responsible online presence is key for today’s world. It’s the only path to a safe and harmless Internet experience. So, be present, and teach your children the proper ways of handling their social media accounts by setting up rules, boundaries, and limits on their screen time.
How can I monitor my child’s social media activity without invading their privacy?
You can do that by actually letting them know that you sometimes check up on their social media. Having a trusty relationship with your children is the key to the modern digital world.
What are some age-appropriate social media platforms that are safer for kids to use?
How can I help my child set appropriate privacy settings on their social media accounts?
You can do it by researching and setting up the privacy settings together. Set preferences that are both safe and comfortable for your children.
What are some red flags to watch out for that may indicate that my child is being targeted by cyberbullies?
The biggest red flags are: newly formed accounts messaging you (asking for money or personal information), and accounts posing as friends, family, companies, or charities messaging you asking about financial help and such.
What should I do if I discover that my child has been using social media inappropriately?
You should talk about the situation with your children, be honest and find a solution together. Make them admit and agree they’re in the wrong and should apologize for their actions. If you manage to adopt a loyal and trustful bond with your children, they’ll respect the rules and seldom break them.