What to keep an eye out for when your child gets a social media account
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Social media has become a huge part of many children’s daily life. There are special apps for kids like the YouTube Kids app. However, most platforms do not have a special kid friendly version. There is going to be a time when your child is going to ask for a social media account. Most social media platforms have an agreement that says you need to be over 13 years old to have an account. If you decide that your kid is mature enough to have a social media account, there are a few important things that you should be keeping an eye out for.
What Social Media Accounts They Have
There are a lot of social media platforms, and kids learn how to use this technology very quickly. They can easily make new accounts without you knowing about them, which can be a challenge for any parent. Having hidden social media accounts can expose your children to posts and people who you would not want them to see or connect with.
Knowing how many social media accounts your child has is challenging as your child grows and uses more technology. Regularly checking your child’s phone, tablet, and computer to see what they are doing is helpful. Many times, asking them for a list of accounts could be helpful if you trust your child. There are programs and apps that track when new accounts are being created and the new login information. These programs are especially helpful when you are not sure if you can trust your child to tell you about their social media accounts, and what they are doing while they are using them.
Slang and Emojis
These terms are an important part of social media, so you should keep up with the latest slang and what emojis mean. Social media has its own language and it is an ever-changing entity, which makes it hard to keep up with and many parents are not up-to-date with the latest slang or the meanings of emojis. Knowing the meaning of emojis can help you decode the messages that your kids are sending and receiving, without having to ask for your child’s help.
This is one of the most obvious activities on social media today, but many parents overlook the signs. In the past few years, cyberbullying has been on the rise and it has lasting effects on kids. It could be happening to your child, or it could be your child who is doing the bullying. This can be hard to think of, but you should keep an eye on the messages and posts they are leaving on other people’s pages.
Often children and teens change the way that they talk about people and social media when they are being bullied, or are bullying someone else. If you notice a difference in their behavior, you should check their social media accounts to see what they are posting and what other people are posting about or messaging to your child.
Who are They Messaging?
As their parent, you should have a good idea of who their friends are. When they join social media, you should make sure who they are following and connecting with on social media. Many children like to connect with and follow their favorite Youtubers. So, this should be something that you decide if they are allowed to follow or connect with these people. There have been a few accounts when Youtubers were grooming their younger fans for sexual images and messages. However, many Youtubers love to connect with their fans in supportive ways.
If you do allow your kids to follow people who you do not know, you should check their messages regularly. There are apps that allow you to see messages even if they have been deleted. This can seem like snooping or spying on them, but it can help protect your children from online predators.
Social media allows us to pick and choose what people see about us and our lives. So, you should think about the all the times that you have changed your Facebook profile picture, or deleted posts that you were embarrassed about. Children may not understand that everything on social media really shows who a person is in real life.
This is why it is important to talk to your child about what is okay and not okay to post online about themselves. They also need to understand that there is no delete button after posting something. Even if they delete a post, there is a record of the post somewhere and someone has seen it.
You should always keep an eye on what they are posting on their social media pages. This could be done by following their account or using an app that lets you know what they post or comment on social media. If they post something that is not okay, you should address the post as soon as possible. Make sure to explain to them why the post was not okay and why they should not post something like that again.
Disconnecting from Activities and Friends
Many times, disconnecting from activities and friends is often a sign of cyberbullying. However, it can also be a sign of social media addition, which can be worrying as a parent. So, setting a specific screen time is important for children when they are learning about and starting to use social media. You pay the bills, so you have the power to set the rules. You should make it clear about how long they are allowed to use social media, and check on them regularly to make sure that they follow the rules.
Is It Okay to Snoop on Your Child’s Social Media Account?
This is a question that is on every parent’s mind when they are thinking about giving their kids access to social media. The answer to this question will depend on your child, their age, and how much you trust other people. You can also change your mind at a later time, especially if you are going to look at your child’s messages and social media accounts.
There are many apps and programs that allow you to see what your child is doing on social media. These apps are simple to install, and many do not show up in the app list on your child’s cell phone or tablet.
You can also make a rule that your kids have to give you their devices and passwords for security reasons. This can help you keep an eye on what they are doing.
What Platform Should You Start With?
This will depend on your child. Many kids are now using YouTube due to the YouTube Kids app, but there is still worrying content on YouTube Kids. So, you should talk with your kids to see what social media platforms they are interested in. You should then take time to research each platform and their possible motioning options before deciding on what social media platform is right for your child.
It is always recommended that you know what your child is doing on online, especially when they have access to social media. There is a lot of trouble that kids can get into online, so it is important to teach your child how to stay safe online.
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