The Screen is a dangerous monster we’ve discussed, and guess what? It has a sister…The Social! This monster of technology is one created from the darker side of social media. Understanding it is the way you can help protect your kids from the many pitfalls it creates.
Social media is essential in today’s world, much like technology and devices. You can’t shut your kids off from it, or they’ll lack the skills they need in the job market once the time comes. Your best line of defense is to teach them well on how to defeat The Social when it comes to negatives.
Too much usage of social media affects your child’s self-esteem. It can affect yours too.
That’s why you must come together to overpower The Social! Here’s how (here’s a cheat sheet):
1 Set limits. The only way you can keep The Social from taking over is to set boundaries from the start. Having a defined time period where social media can be used will help keep your child from getting sucked in. You should exert these limits upon yourself too. Single parents should coordinate with their ex’s to ensure these habits are upheld in their home as well.
2 Engage with your child’s online world. To defeat The Social, you need to know more than just what apps they’re using. You need to BE in those apps, without looking conspicuous of course. Ask your child what they like about the apps they use. Of course, if you notice any dangerous ones, promptly delete the app. The key here is to ensure your child understands and agrees with your decision.
3 See what they are posting. Don’t leave blinders on. Watch what your kids are posting online. You won’t have to worry most of time, but if something seems inappropriate, talk to your child about why they shouldn’t post these kinds of things. Risky photos, illegal activity, or nasty comments about others should never be tolerated.
4 Know how they are using social media. Are your kids watching videos that are a bad influence? Or are they engaging with other kids from school in a positive manner? You may find that it’s not all good or bad when it comes to their usage. Understanding your child’s usage needs will help you give them the right influence, so they can use The Social with good intentions.
5 Get into what they are into. Express an interest in the same things that they are interested in, both online and offline. When you do, you’ll find your kids are more likely to share these interests with you. Online, you’ll be able to see the videos they like to watch or if they’re posting things themselves. Maybe the things they post aren’t problematic, but their settings could be public, leaving them vulnerable to predators, another dangerous aspect of The Social. Teach them why they need to be careful so that only friends and family can see their private lives.
6 Keep a keen eye for negativity. Your kids might be doing all the right things on social media, but there might be someone that antagonizes them. That’s another reason why the right settings matter on The Social. However, the person can also be someone they know personally, like another kid at school, who is saying terrible things about them. By being involved in social media with your kids, you can help them navigate negativity.
The main takeaway here is to be involved without hovering. Be approachable and knowledgeable, and your kids will appreciate your strength when dealing with The Social.
For extra help juggling and multitasking, use your S’moresUp app and make the most of your time!