I’m a blogger. Social media is my job. If I have to be honest with you I have a love/hate relationship with it. Now that’s my problem not yours, but what about our kids? Are they ready for it? Here are a few things that I have found to be important in teaching our children to use social media. Disclosure: I find that I talk a lot, especially to my children. We have explored so many areas of social media and they are only 9 and 11.
These are the “hot” topics that we have come into contact with or bordered on when it came to Social Media.
1.There is a reason why there is an age limit on joining sites like Facebook. Kids and adults can get obsessed with having many “friends”. They can make unwise choices and friend people they don’t even know just for virtual popularity. Accounts get hacked and not so pleasant things can come across even the safest of spaces.
2. The cyber bullying comes in many forms. Honestly, even the best of friends fight, but once you send that text or post the delete button will not save you. Make sure that in this age of no impulse control you teach your children to deal with their issues live and in person not online. ( Unless they are battling a huge company!)
3. Your online friends are your online friends and nothing more. ( Okay, I have to be honest again I have some online friends that I have never met that I just love! Michelle C! Then again this is all through being a blogger and you get a feel for a person and their family when you are involved with them online everyday. Tweens don’t have the ability to make these choices.
4. The amount of likes you get does not determine your self-worth. ( I know adults that can’t deal with this issue. As a blogger these are important to me, but as a person not so much.
5. If you do decided to let your kids use social media sites, text etc., get their passwords. While I don’t check my son’s text log everyday, I do pick it up from time to time. I have caught a few things that didn’t sit right with me and I even had a child text back and tell my son NOT to let me read his messages. Well, that’s not happening….until I feel he’s old enough to garner that amount of privacy.
6. Ask your child what is or is not okay to post online. (Guess what? Other parents tell their kids what you post about your kids! Do you want Kim’s daughter to know that your son has a crush on her? Or do you want to tell all of your daughter’s friends that she just called her first boy? Some information is not meant to be shared parents!)
7. When your child finds out they haven’t been invited to something. ( This has happened to me. Is your child prepared to see photos from a party he/she was not invited too? While we all can’t be invited to every single event our friends have, it’ still a hard thing to see. )
8. Teach your child that what people post is only what they want you to see. ( In this past year I have seen people who have posted perfection self-destruct. Their photos and updates were not a refection of what was actually happening in their lives.)
9. Don’t tell your virtual friends your real name ,where you live, or go to school! If they don’t already know then they don’t need to find out. This is a bit of a no brainer, but my boys told me to add it!
10. You aren’t missing out by NOT being online. Personally, when I want to feel better about my life I unplug. Enjoy your real friends, play outside, talk to a real person….these are the things you need to grow.
Personally, I live most of my life in the middle. I use tech, I love//hate it, but it does make my life better. It’s part of our lives and it’s not going anywhere. I do believe that kids do need to learn how to use it or it could do them a disservice later in life. As for my children, I do let them pay games and I do let my oldest one text. They have limits. Somehow, I have managed or have been blessed with kids that aren’t obsessed by the latest gadgets. This could all change tomorrow. For now, I’m enjoying being the one navigating the tech waters. One more word of advice….get to know the technology before you let your kids get their hands on it. That will keep you connected. Good luck!