You can keep your child safe in the social media age with a few tips to help you stay up to speed with today’s technology and your child’s plugged-in world, writes blogger Kenney Myers in a recent post. It included a plan of action for helping parents navigate the social media world. Learn the TechnologyFirst and foremost, for parents to be able to help, it is important that they understand how technology works and accept that technology is a big part of young people’s lives, Silje Vallestad, CEO and founder of Bipper, a mobile safety app company, told Myers. As cyber bullying situations continue to increase, parents must know how to operate and monitor apps, social media networks and various technology to ensure that their children are acting appropriately and that they are treated respectfully in what is a 24/7 public environment, he said.
As you are learning the technology, it’s important to remember the top three actions to take when your child is engaged in social media:
Technology is Important to Your Child: Understand that your kids need to use technology and be part of the online communities where their peers are. It’s part of their lives and if you remove it, you will probably create a growing gap between you and your child instead of fostering an atmosphere of dialogue.
Open Conversations are Necessary: Engage in open and trusting conversations with your kids about technology. Let them tell you, show you and teach you. Reacting with anger or shock to things you might see could result in your kids closing down conversations. Try to stay calm and ask questions. Together, you can agree on rules. Sometimes you both may come to the conclusion that a particular service is not ok. Other times, it is ok but you may require that you will be a friend or follower.
Research is Key: Do your own research on services and use that research to ask your kids the right questions. However, don’t automatically assume that your kids are using a questionable service in a wrong way simply because there is a lot of information online about that service being used negatively. Do keep an open eye and make sure you are neither naïve nor ignorant about social media.
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