Today, it is no longer a strange thing for children under the age of 5 to appear on social networks. Often these profiles are run by doting parents and are all for fun purposes. But what about when your kids decide they’re ready for their own profile? How young is called too young? And how do you keep them safe?
Australian parents support their children’s use of technology
Data collected by Real Insurance last year shows that most parents see technology as a positive and allow their children to experiment online, even with social media. Key findings include:
– 8 out of 10 Australian parents believe it is better to find ways to best use technology to benefit their children rather than restricting their use of technology.
– 23.1% of parents think it’s appropriate for 11-13-year-olds to start using their own social media accounts, while only 6.1% think it’s appropriate for 8-10 children age.
– Parents estimate that the average 2- to 4-year-old spends 1 hour a day on social media, 5-7 spends less than 2 hours a day, while 8-10 year olds spend 2 to 3 hours.
– 84.7% of parents who know their child has at least one social media account claim to check the friends they add to social media at least at some point
Stay up-to-date on Fact Coverage on Facebook.
Even if we no longer worry about the impact of social media on our children, it is important to have conversations to limit the risk.
The most important safety measures
Ruth Diding know all about parenting in the age of technology. Keeping her two boys safe online is a top priority, and Ruth shares all of her knowledge through the Kids and Technology website. Here’s her advice for parents to stay safe on social media:
“It is important for parents to work together with their children on social media so that they have any hope of being safe there. Set up a new account together using the highest possible security settings and make sure you know the password.
Set clear rules for using social media in advance, such as when and how often they can use it and which websites they can use. Warn them that they may see content that upsets them and ask them to reach out to you when this happens.
Children need to understand that what is online remains online and the impact of that. They should think before sharing anything and only post things online that they’re happy for the world to see (they’ll need your guidance on this).
Finally, it’s important to teach your child social media etiquette from the outset. They have to be the same people online as they are in real life. Following the golden rule of treating others the way they want to be treated when they are online is a great starting point. “
Find Ruth on Facebook and Twitter.
3 rules for parents
Arna van Goch is a social media expert for parents from Horizons21. Her online course, ‘Keeping Your Kids Safe Online’ has helped countless parents understand how social networks work, what the main dangers are and how, despite the scary substance but it can also bring many benefits. She shared with us 3 steps parents should take when introducing their kids to social media.
1. Care about what’s inside, not what’s outside
“Don’t let your kids think they should place any value on looks – society already does that. Don’t comment on their physique, or anyone else’s for that matter. Comment on their ‘brilliance’ or ‘attitude’ and children will learn to appreciate it more. “
2. Check Security Settings
“Make it a rule for spot checks. Once in a while, every few weeks, check their social media settings, check their messages, check what they’re writing. Ask who they are talking to, any new friends? Let them chat with you so they can learn how to better assess the fit.”
3. Sometimes it’s okay to be wrong
“A lot of parents these days want to keep their kids in a marshmallow bubble. Your job as a parent is not only to keep your children safe but also to teach them how to deal with danger and/or adversity. So it’s better to let them make mistakes under your loving gaze where you can help them get back on their feet, then let them live a super sheltered life and then have to be on their own. deal with the ‘real world’. “
Learn more about Arna’s work on Facebook.
Real world priority
Farmville looks pretty cool but it doesn’t look like an actual farm. Likewise any technological simulation of real life and nature. Social media is very convenient to jump in and waste a day. Planning family outings will help your child connect with the real world from nature to family bonding. You can take them down to the beach for the weekend or go out to dinner with the no-tech rule.
It is important for your child to learn how to make friends outside of the online arena. Most of their lives will not take place online. From navigating school to their future careers, they need to build the right social skills to handle life offline. The answer could be as simple as a backyard trampoline that keeps them motivated to invite friends back and forth more and skip the internet for a few hours. The bottom line is, while online and offline friends are valuable, they are very different, and a healthy social life includes both.
If you’re worried your child is becoming addicted to technology, here’s what you can do about it.
Build good habits early
As your kids get older, they’ll take more control of their online presence. According to research by Real Insurance, 41.9% of children aged 11-13 only use computers when an adult is in the room, by 14-16, this rate drops to less than 20%. Similarly, smartphones are used unsupervised by 11-13-year-olds in 48.1% of Australian homes and this number spikes to 76.3% of teenagers. So, the online habits you help your kids create when they first get acquainted with technology is very important.
Even if it’s only for a short time, make sure there’s a time when you maintain a low level of control (ideally at the start) and know who their friends are and what types of people they are. what interaction is taking place. This way, you’ll be confident in their ability to take care of themselves when it’s time for them to be more self-directed.
Keeping your computer in the family room is a great place to start. That means you’ll be able to monitor their activity and be available to assist if they encounter disturbing material or a situation they’re also unsure of how to respond. Shop MyDeal furniture for tables, chairs and more if you need to set up an allotted tech zone for your family.
Social media is not going away anytime soon. Being aware of your child’s involvement with it will give you the opportunity to teach them how to use it safely.