Navigating the world of social media with your children

The Rhode Show

If your children are spending more time on social media, it’s important you’re monitoring their habits and making sure what’s shared is parent-approved. Dr. Bethany Cook, Clinical Psychologist and Health Service Psychologist, shares insight on what families should consider when explaining social exposure.

  1. Talk To Your Child(ren) About Family vs. Public Information: Some families just prefer to keep certain things private and that should be respected. Provide relatable age-appropriate examples to your child(ren) to help them understand.
  2. Offer Examples of How Sharing Too Much Can Hurt Them & Others: Talk to your family on how to control your impulses. Sometimes posting could be out of pure excitement or to gain a presence to gain someone’s attention, at this time, we should all teach ‘analyze before you post’ tactics. 
  3. Identify Your Own Personal Boundaries About Social Media: Think about what you are willing to have made public and what you would like kept private. Discuss personal boundaries. 
  4. Help Your Child Identify Their Boundaries: Knowing and understanding your child’s boundaries is important. You and your child may have different levels of comfort when it comes to what y’all are cool with being posted. So have a chat about it. 
  5. Identify Consequences for Breaking Social Media Boundaries PRIOR to an Incident Happening: It’s important to have your child be a part of this conversation. Studies have shown that if kids are involved in the decision process surrounding consequences, they are more likely to be compliant. Consequences don’t necessarily have to be to take away devices. Your child could do something like volunteer to clean up trash on the street or help out at an animal shelter, increase household chores for a few days, etc. or make good using social media. 
  6. Talk About Ways to Set Similar Boundaries With Peers: It’s hard enough for kids these days with all the things they have to navigate. Provide your child with the language necessary to not only have the “talk” with their mates but also practice saying a few “premade comebacks.”
  7. What Apps Do They Use and Why? Familiarize yourself with the apps your kids use. Invite them to share what they like about it (try not to be judgy here or they might shut-down). Are they using these apps as a way to connect to friends, find friends, build an online presence, try to sell something, etc. Once you get a better understanding of apps they enjoy using, google them. Use it as a way to connect to each other and strengthen the bond. 

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