Parenting in real world can be tough. Parenting in the virtual world can be even more difficult as the screen hides much of what your child may think or feel about themselves or the world around them. Engaging with your kids about healthy use of social media and online gaming may seem intimidating, but as with anything in parenting, openness follows connection. Here a few tips in helping you navigate parenting in the digital age.
- Foster interest in their online accounts. Let them teach you how to use them and ask non-invasive questions about their viewings and friends.
- Encourage wisdom and thinking about the future when posting. Their digital footprint is available forever, so what is posted today could affect how they are perceived in the future.
- Set appropriate posting rules for maintaining autonomous accounts such as no vulgarity, must be fully clothed, no revealing of school or home address, asking permission before posting about anyone else, etc.
- Create and enforce healthy, age appropriate time limits for social media and gaming use. This is best enforced when you as the parent model healthy boundaries and on your devices and engage your kids face to face.
Below are links to the popular social media sites your child may be using. Click one each networking site to find helpful tips explaining the differences, uses, precautions, and privacy settings of the online forums.