Managing Social Media
1.) Give your children an age when they are allowed to start using social media. Children are less likely to hide social media accounts if they know it's not banned forever.
2.) Create a Family Media Use Plan. Hold a family meeting and create parts of the plan together. Children are less likely to break a plan, if they have a voice in creating it. Revisit the plan every couple of months or every year and make it a working document.
1.) Treat social media, electronics, and/or the internet as you would any other environment in your child's life. If the media is beginning to influence your child in a negative way, then start limiting the time spent on it.
2.) Parents must model a positive social media presence. Make sure that all of your interactions online are respectful and appropriate. Children model what they are shown and will even model behaviors you may think they do not see.
1.) You need to make sure you know what your child is viewing on Youtube. Make sure that the videos are age appropriate and that you are consistently aware of the videos they are viewing.
2.) There are numerous apps you can use to assist in monitoring what your child is watching on Youtube. Some apps and browsers can assist in monitoring websites other than Youtube as well. Examples of these apps and browsers are Ranger Browser and iTubeList. Please check out this link that explains Ranger Browser, explains its capabilities in more detail, and describes how to download the app.
Dealing with Video Games Addiction
1.) Set time limits and encourage playtime. Take your children outside or encourage their imagination by playing indoors. Make a rule that during playtime and specified other times that no electronics are allowed!
2.) Create tech-free zones within your house and beyond. Eat dinner as a family and at the dinner table to discourage eating in front of the TV or computer. Ban computers and/or electronics from certain rooms or for certain time periods.
Protecting Your Child's Identity Online
1.) Type out links instead of clicking on them. Teach your child not to immediately click on any links that are sent through email or social media. Thieves can use these links to steal personal information or infect computers with viruses.
2.) Check your child’s credit report annually. Thieves are becoming more creative with stealing personal records and accounts. Thieves are now opening credit cards in children's names. It is important to check your child's credit report once a year to protect their identities.
1.) Don't let your child take media devices into their bedrooms. Children need time to decompress after a day full of technology whether at school, with friends, or at home. It is difficult for you to manage how your child is using their technology if they are alone in their bedroom.
2.) Use technology to control your child's devices. If you feel your child is spending too much time on their computers and they refuse to turn it off, use other technology to limit theirs. You can use change the internet password or use parental controls to limit their devices.
Influencing a Positive Body Image with Technology
1.) Educate yourself about types of media your child uses. If your child uses Facebook or Instagram, know what the apps are and how they are used. Set ground rules with your child on how they are allowed to use it. Educate yourself about different technologies that would influence how your child would feel about their bodies.
2.) Have a conversation with your child. Talk to your child about the media and its unrealistic portrayal of people's physical features. For example, explain that the pictures on the internet can be photoshopped or changed to show what the companies want people to see. If you have photoshop on your computer, show them an example. Give your child regular positive messages to assist in building up their self-esteem.
Dangers of Sexting
1.) Be upfront with your child from the beginning. Know the age when your child can handle the maturity of the subject. Give your child regular positive messages about themselves to assist in increasing their self-esteem and lessen the chance that they would participate in sextexting. Do know that sextexting can occur in elementary grades and is not just limited to middle and high school aged children.
2.) Delete all nude pictures and have a discussion with your child about the pictures. Try to determine why the pictures were on their phone. If your child is experiencing low self-esteem, then talking to their therapist can help. You should also call the police and report the pictures to them.