Social media has its pros and cons. While it helps you connect to loved ones, adding strangers to the list who could be online predators looking for the next victim is also possible. So, it’s essential for parents to look into parental controls and how these can help.
It’s always best to educate yourself on modern apps and technology. However, it’s challenging for some parents to keep pace with the fast-changing world. For example, your kids may friend you on Facebook but may not want to add you on Instagram and Snapchat; what will you do?
Read on for more information.
What Are The Risks of Social Media for Kids?
According to the Mayo Clinic, social media can negatively affect kids by distracting them, disturbing their sleep, and more.
The kids may feel peer pressure because of social media. For example, if a friend is going on a trip with the parents, the kid may also ask the parents for expensive vacations.
If the friends are running a YouTube channel with kids or if the kids see influencers with expensive toys, they may feel upset with their present life.
When kids see other people displaying a perfect life on social media, it can affect their thinking.
While some teens and kids may earn on YouTube with their parents, the platform may not be for everyone. Some people prefer keeping their lives private.
Parents may also find it distressing when the kids ask to set up social media accounts under peer pressure. Once they set up the account, the kid may become friends with an online stranger.
The kid may exchange personal information with someone who could be an online predator. For example, a stranger can ask for a social security number or any other proof of identification from the child or about their parents. It can lead to identity theft. The stranger may also ask for credit card information.
The kids may also fall victim to online scams on social media. For example, the teenager may befriend a girl or boy, who may be a predator luring them to send private images. Once the kid exchange information, the predator can start blackmailing the kid without the parent’s knowledge.
Friends can make a funny video of the kid, which may go viral on social media and, thus, negatively affect the child’s self-esteem.
There are many ways that social media can be risky for kids and teenagers!
How Can Parental Controls Help You In The Digital World?
Parental controls are vital in the modern age! But first, the parents need to learn the use of technology. Some parents may watch online tutorials to understand the use of parental controls. It would be a good step!
Parental controls can help in many ways in the digital world. Setting up parental controls means your children can access limited information that’s kid-friendly or age-appropriate.
For example, instead of letting kids browse YouTube for nursery rhymes, consider downloading YouTube Kids and setting it for the child’s age. Then, when you are taking a step in the right direction, you can keep your child away from content that’s not age-appropriate.
Check the settings for the games that your kids play. Look into the parental controls for different apps. If you need help, look into the information online or ask other parents to help you understand the features.
Download a parental control app wherever possible; it can help you in the long run. The kids won’t be able to access content that’s inappropriate for them.
It’s also essential to establish the ground rules from the beginning. Let your kids know what’s accessible for them and what’s not. Set the rewards and punishments in advance. For example, if a parent downloads a game, not for their age, or accesses content unsuitable, they would not use the internet for a month, etc. Then, you can tailor it based on what works for your family.
What’s the best advice for parents of teens using social media?
Establish trust and openly communicate with your children about the pros and cons of social media. Go back to when you were a teen, consider things from your kid’s perspective, and then decide accordingly.
What to do if your kid appears upset and isn’t sharing the reason?
Being a parent, you understand your child’s mood and pain points. So, if you notice the kid’s mood being unusual or unwilling to share what’s bothering them, observe closely and try finding out if social media could be the underlying reason or if the kid is being bullied online or at school. Take the matter seriously, but be careful.
Wrapping It Up
You need to educate your child about the risks of social media. Read the statistics to your child and also lead by example. Consider parental controls, as there is a reason for such features! If you are unsure about the use, find online videos and ask other parents to help you.