Watch Your Child’s Social Media Activity
This is a topic that receives some controversy. Some parents believe it is important for children to have their privacy. This allows them to form independent opinions and feel a sense of responsibility. However, that privilege should only be available when a child is truly ready. It may take years of monitored social media activity for a child to understand the responsibility that comes with using the internet.
If your child has a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, know the login information. Have the accounts linked to your email address so you can get into them no matter what. Check your child’s messages and talk to them about any suspicious activity you notice. If your child has a phone, you may also need to do this with SnapChat and other communication apps.
Limit Your Child’s Time Online
It’s much easier to monitor your child’s online activity when it only occurs during a certain frame of time. You may let your child online for a short period of time after school or before bed, depending on how old he or she is. If your child as a cell phone, you may have him or her leave the phone with you overnight. You can also turn off the internet after a certain time period so you know your child is not online. Set guidelines that suit your family.
Lead by Example – Show Your Child What You Do Online (and When)
Show your child the right way to use the internet. Avoid being on your phone or tablet during family time. If you are online, let your child see what you are doing when possible. Children mimic what they see – the good and the bad. If you maintain a healthy relationship with the internet, your child is more likely to do the same.
Communicate as a Family
If you saw something funny online that’s kid-friendly, share it with your kids. Show them that you have nothing to hide about your time online. If they want to show you a video that they found entertaining, pay attention. This encourages your children to remain open about their online activity. If someone they do not know contacts them, they are more likely to tell you about it.
We encourage open communication for all family matters. If you need help building communication skills in your household, consider family counseling. Perspectives Counseling Centers offers family counseling in Michigan, with specialized counseling for teens, kids, and adults. No matter what your family dynamic is, you can have a strong relationship with every family member. Call (248) 244-8644 to schedule an appointment with a family counselor near you.