There are two sides of a coin, as social media is considered good for many things it is also accused for many bad ones. What parents think about their kids using social networking sites is also divided as good and bad.
Going for the good points first,
- Parents think of it as a good preparation for future involvement in a technology-dependent work world for their kids to participate in social networking.
- They feel that it’s a good thing that their kids can stay in touch with their friends wherever they go.
- They think that it helps kids to be more creative, open-minded and can help them to work with others.
- They also want their children to use social network so that they don’t become social outcasts.
- They think it’s beneficial as their children get to know about different cultures around the world and other knowledgeable things.
Coming to the dark side,
- Some parents think social networks are bad because they put children at a greater risk for being harassed, manipulated and exploited.
- Parents are worried about “Sexting” or other sexual behavior as a result of social media.
- Parents of younger kids are more worried than the parents of teenagers about cyber bullying, depression, hostility and other problems.
- Nearly half of parents think their children would do better in school if they were not distracted by social networking sites.
- Parents think that social media is a waste of time as in the time their kids use social networks they can use that time to study or play outside instead of playing video games or chatting with a stranger.
- Parents are worried about the exposure of their children to inappropriate content shown on social media.
With all the good and bad points about social networking sites, parents are always worried about what their kids do online because they want to protect them. So there are some tips below so that you can ensure the safety of your children.
- Setup your profile on the same social networking site your kids are on and monitor their activities every day.
- Tell your kids about privacy settings so that no one can use their pictures or anything else for wrong purposes.
Check their friendlists every month and ask them if they know the person so that they can’t be harassed by strangers.
- Tell the kids about “do’s and don’ts” on social media.
- Parents should prepare their children for life in the online world.
- Make sure that they don’t cross the age limit set by social networking sites, for example, for a Facebook account you should be above 13 years, so don’t let your kids use it before that because limits are there for some reasons only.
- There are software in the market, which tells you about the chats, time spent online and all computer activities in general.
- You don’t need to spy on kid’s every move, but it is important to be aware of the kinds of sites he is frequently visiting and the people he is associating with.
- Monitor the pictures your child posts online.
- Limit the usage of the devices like computers and phones.
- Talk to children about what impact their pictures or posts can have if a future college administrator or employer sees them.
- Talk to kids about online dangers.
However, parents should not let their kids feel that they don’t trust them instead they should have a frank parent-children relationship to talk about the problems they are having online or offline. Parents should encourage their children about how to use social media for their benefits and certainly not to get addicted.