Wednesday 5 July 2023

Teaching your child to use social media responsibly

 **Collaborative Post**

AD: Social media is a fantastic invention, to say the least. In today’s digital age, social media has become such an important part of everyone’s lives and whilst some may say it has taken over, it has opened up so much for people too. With the simple click of a few buttons, the capability to gather endless amounts of information and entertainment has grown. In fact, it was through social media that individuals were able to stay connected globally throughout the recent pandemic, acting as almost a saviour to all during the very difficult and isolating time. However, as parents, it is crucial to guide your child on how to navigate their online persona responsibly. 

Teaching children about responsible social media usage not only protects them from potential risks but also empowers them to reap the benefits of these platforms. Below is a guide that goes into more detail on teaching your child how to be responsible online, as advised by this private school in London.

Open communication

The first step to ensuring your child is using social media responsibly is by keeping communication open and building trust with them. Social media is something that they will find themselves using without realising, especially due to the fact that most of their entertainment lies there. Try and establish open lines of communication with your child from an early age, as this way you can be guaranteed that they will come to you with any concerns they have whilst browsing social media. This will also ensure they feel comfortable talking about any issues that arise without the fear of judgment.

Positive digital footprint

Remind your child that whatever they post online, even if it is deleted later, stays online forever. Teach them about the long-term impact of their online presence, and the importance of thinking about the content they choose to share. If they are choosing to showcase their talents, passions, and achievements, encourage them to do so in a responsible and respectful manner.

Teaching children to use social media responsibly has become a task every parent should prioritise. With open communication in place and teaching your child some background information, you can help them become responsible digital citizens.

Set rules from the beginning

When you decide your child is old enough for social media it doesn't mean you can't have rules around the usage. You may only be willing for them to use certain sites and not others, you may want to limit their usage time so they don't end up endlessly scrolling all day. Or you may wish to sit with your child when setting up their pages so you can ensure certain settings are set such as privacy or what friends they can accept. As long as you are clear and firm about these from the get-go everyone should be on the same page. 

Personally, I don't think there is any right or wrong age for when children should start using social media, I think that comes down to each child and the parent's decision on when they feel that child is responsible enough to understand social media, the consequences of misusing it and knowing that child will follow rules. I know social media in general can be a hit-or-miss subject but overall I think it has done more bad than good and I love how it connects people who may otherwise may never have met, spoken, or known about each other! 


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