Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Social Media and Teens: Advice for Parents

For anyone with a teenager at home, they know that social media is a big part of their daily routine.  Here are some things to consider when discussing the use of social media.
  1. It is important for parents to be part of their son's/daughter's social media platforms.  Follow them to see what they post but avoid interfering. 
  2. Ask your son or daughter to share who they are talking to online.  It is a reasonable request to have them only chat and interact with people they know in person.
  3. Remind them that anything they post online is part of their digital footprint.  Once something is posted, it is out of their control.
  4. Busy teens need and want time to connect with their friends.  Social media is how they accomplish this.
  5. Teens feel a lot of pressure online.  Encourage an open dialogue with your son or daughter would feel comfortable to get your support when needed.
  6. Keep it positive.  Remind your son or daughter that written posts can easily be taken out of context and be hurtful to others.  The best way to avoid hurt feelings is to only post comments that are positive and encouraging.

This article is adapted from Edutopia's article looking at a Digital Youth Think Tank where teens were asked to share their experiences with social media.  See the article: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/10-teen-digital-media-takeaways-matt-levinson

I'm interested to get comments and ideas from other parents.