Social media has brought us a lot of great things – it allows us to keep in touch with loved ones who are far away from us and it provides more convenient forms of communication. However, children who engage in these are exposed to a lot of risks that they should avoid.
We can’t deny that technology is absolutely fast-changing these days. Most teenagers use some type of social media and have their profiles displaying their information in public.
Although relatives and friends can see their profiles, the scary thing about this is that even strangers can have access to these details. Children don’t always make wise decisions, especially when they publish posts on websites that can lead to problems. This is why it’s important to teach your little ones to always think twice before doing things online, and to use social media wisely.
Here’s how you can instil good social media habits in your little ones:
Start Teaching When they are Young
Even if your little ones aren’t on social media, they could be influenced by their peers in school. As parents, you should start opening up the conversation about social media while your children are young. Friends of your children may be the ones to encourage them to engage in social networking sites. Also, be aware that they could learn about these from their older siblings and other influencers they might see on TV and other media sources. This is why it’s important that you take the initiative to talk about this while it’s early and they are very young.
Keep Gadgets Away at Night
Before bedtime, ensure that all gadgets are away, and keep these out of the room by bedtime. Children need sufficient amounts of sleep and having screens in their bedrooms will interfere with their bedtime routines and sleeping hours. Set all tablets and phones to night mode and turn all notifications off. Check out the settings of each device and app and keep these locked.
A lot of people don’t know that their profiles can be locked to a limited number of people. On private mode, only approved followers can view your children’s content and comment on these. People who aren’t following them cannot see any of these unless their requests are approved. Setting accounts to private mode is one thing you can teach your children to prevent their personal information from getting into the wrong hands.
Enforce Proper Online Etiquette
Receiving offensive comments on social media affects everyone’s self-esteem; and for children, this can cause emotional damage. However, if they retaliate and write a similar comment, they could get into trouble. Teach your children about good etiquette on social media – let them know what they can do when they encounter certain situations when they use social networking sites. Also, check out the settings of these social networking sites; some applications allow you to filter offensive posts and inappropriate words from your comments and feed.
Be a Role Model
The relationship of your little ones with social media depends on what they see when you use your devices. It’s all based on the amount of time you spend on these sites and applications. The more they see you scrolling through these social networking sites, the more they will engage in these as well.
Set Time Limits
Pre-teens are still developing self-discipline and it’s not uncommon for them to spend hours on social media. Discuss the appropriate amount of time they should spend on these each day. Let them state their opinions too since they will be more obedient if both of you agree on a decision. Another thing you can take advantage of is the settings on social media platforms; an example is the Activity Dashboard on Instagram which allows you to manage your usage and limit distractions such as push notifications.
Talk it out
Keep in mind that communication is always essential. Let your little ones know that you welcome them with anything they have to say. Having open communication means that they will also be open to you. Aside from that, this will encourage them to talk to you if they are facing any problems instead of deciding to share these on social media.
Keep them Busy with Activities
If your little ones are busy with other activities, they will not see the need to check on their social media accounts regularly. If they spend time with their friends by engaging in activities that they enjoy, they will definitely have more fun if they bond together without having to use their gadgets.
When they spend time with their friends, encourage them to play with the Nemo Dory Bubble Guns from Whistlecopter. These bubble guns can fill the air with hundreds of tiny bubbles. These Bubble Guns do not stop blowing bubbles as long as you continue pulling the trigger. It features four coloured LED lights and one of these can be found in the mouth so when you shoot, the bubbles that come out are blue. The Nemo Dory Bubble Guns will remind you of the characters from the all-time favourite cartoon movies Nemo Dory. The two Bubble Guns have translucent blue and translucent peach bodies so you gave really see the LED lights.