Pennsylvania – Where’s the line when it comes to your kid’s social media posts?
Diana Graber is the author of “Raising Humans in the Digital World.” She says it’s natural for kids to want to share things on social media and even push the boundaries on what their parents think they should be allowed to post.
So when is it okay for parents to comment on their children’s posts? Parenting expert Ericka Souter says go ahead! Just like if you heard your child saying something upsetting or doing something wrong, you should speak up.
However, be careful about what you say online to your kids too! Some conversations can be embarrassing or impolite to talk about online.
Instead, take the conversation to the real world… in person. Calmly talk with your child about what is and isn’t appropriate, and remind them of the consequences.
Ericka Souter says it’s also a good idea to discuss ground rules ahead of time. You can even draw up a social media contract and have your kid sign it.
Have a conversation about guidelines and rules before it becomes a problem.
Things to talk about with your kids:
Trust versus privacy – It’s important to be aware of what your child is doing online, but snooping can alienate them and damage the trust that you’ve already built. Talk about how you need to stay involved and try to keep them safe, while still respecting some of their privacy.
Be nice – Make it clear that you expect your children to treat others with respect, online and offline. It’s never okay to post hurtful or embarrassing messages. Ask them to tell you about any bullying messages that others post.
How often – Set rules about where and when social media can be used. Cell phones can often start taking over your life if you let them… even for adults! Make guidelines about when (no phones after bedtime?) and where (no phones at the dinner table?) kids and adults can use their phones.
What would Grandma say? – Don’t share anything on social media that you wouldn’t want other people to see… including your teachers, college admissions officers, future bosses, and even Grandma.
Privacy settings – Go through the privacy settings together and make sure your kids understand each one. Also talk about protecting their password. A strong password is there to help protect them against things like identity theft, but it can’t work if people like their friends know what the password is.
Don’t “friend” strangers – If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their friend request.