Six Quick Tips To Combat Seedy Side of Social Media!
Okay, parents, we all know that social media is here to stay.
If that’s the case, developing a strategy that will enable your child to enjoy the benefit of social media (and gaming sites), while preventing them from early exposure to the seedy side of the social media world is vital.
In this post, I’ll share Six-Quick Tips that will help you prepare your child and develop an intentional plan in your home!
Six Quick Tips
Accept that the digital world is the world in which your child is growing up.
Most parents are digital immigrants, which means that practically speaking, we are strangers in a strange land.
Our kids are not.
They are natives. They speak the language and understand the culture. Isolationism and escapism (two popular choices of first generation immigrants) will not work. Accept this reality and educate yourself. Your child’s life is literally at stake here. If you stick your head in the ground, you’re abandoning your child.
Begin preparing your child at a young age.
I recommend that parents start discussions as early as possible. I’m not sure what that means for you. If, however, you’ve given your child your iPad in pursuit of peace-and-quiet since they were 18 months old, then you’re already running behind. Most of what’s encountered is related to images. Here is a link that can provide some great resources for you.
CHECK-IN AND COMMUNICATE
Check-in and Communicate with your child regularly.
Your presence in your child’s life is required to help them navigate this new social world. Yes, I know the digital world means that you have to speak a foreign language, but you must check in and engage. The online, gaming, and social media world is littered with pedophiles, porn, and programs of self-destruction. You cannot let them go-it-alone.
Delay, Delay, Delay. I know that I sound prudish here, but I promise, your five-year-old child doesn’t need access to social media apps or online games.
I recently read that children as young as a year old already have an online profile (due to the pics that loving but uninformed parents post, I am sure). For all the benefits offered by the online world, none of them are worth the risk of early, often, and unsafe exposure.
Encourage and insist on screen-free times and zones.
Develop a family wide plan for how, when, and where screens will be used.
Here are a few tips:
- Less is more.
- Never allow screens behind closed doors.
- One screen at a time.
- Designate a turn em off hour, every day.
Fight for your child’s safety, security, and sense of self-worth, no matter what the cost.
You must, at times, engage in personal and often invasive ways. Fighting, in this context, means things like knowing who your child is communicating with and what is being said. There are a host of games that allow private chats with complete strangers. You need to know what those are and how to navigate the setting to prevent these conversations from happening.
It also means that you should be in charge of all the setting on every device you own. You should know all the passwords and have access, at any moment, to your child’s usage.
I know I sound like the Gestapo here, but keep in mind that there are forces of evil – people who seek to harm your child – who use this medium as their primary form of establishing a relationship with your child.
Disrupting to Renew!