Social media is playing an important role in today’s scenario in our teens and tweens life. Today, like parenting, even technology has taken up a new face and it is an essential part of growing kids.
You must have noticed that from taking up class notes on WhatsApp to playing online, PubG is the new normal for these kids. With this pandemic situation, even their normal school classes are also on different platforms, like Zoom, Teams, Google Classroom.
Keeping them away from social media is not possible. Now, the responsibility of parents increased. And it’s time to guide, monitor, and be alert to blow the whistle and let them aware of the dangers on this new playground we call SOCIAL MEDIA.
Personally, I recommend NO introduction to social media till the age of 15, 16 or above. Once your child is 13, let them know the basic ethics of this platform, how to communicate and behave, and the consequences of their mistakes.
Parent’s role as a guide
As a parent, it’s our responsibility to guide and protect them with social media by making them understand how to behave in the digital world. Now, because it’s overall tricky world and with every new hazard important to make them understand few pointers.
1. Teach them responsibility
As you make your kid be responsible in actual life, there is enormous responsibility attached to social media and teens are interacting. In actual life we tell them to behave as your actions become your personality and the same direction on social media it’s important to act responsibly for every word.
Whatever you are writing on your social media account is an open book for the entire world. So teach them to be responsible and choose the correct way of communication. Written words have value and power, teaching them that every interaction on social media is real.
2. Let them be authentic
Always tell them, make them understand that they have their own identity and they might get influenced over social media but remember not to leave their real self and never pretend to be fake and unreal.
Make them understand both in real and on social media life fake version of you will be only short-lived and loved.
It’s very important offline or online to let your child find themselves, tell them to indulge in something creative, explore new wonders like craft, DIY, podcasting, and much more which is available.
Try to make them understand that it is important to enhance their hobbies and follow the creativity they have.
Every parent has biggest concern, and it is safety of their child. Before your child enters inside the virtual world make them aware of the dangers and precautions.
Make them aware of that you never know who is the face on the other side so let them know all safety measures:
a) Not to share personal details on social media.
b) Don’t share Ids and passwords.
c) Don’t share your location and home issues with strangers.
d) Don’t make strangers your friends or chat with them.
e) Any suspicious activity raises alarm to your parents.
Social media impact on kids
Coming out from their closed-shell as your child explores the alternative world, it will surely go to affect differently on their mind, thoughts, and behavior. The time when you as a parent need to be more vigilant for the same. This impact could be in both ways – Positive or Negative.
Positively your child will learn so many aspects and angles of life which will help them grow and think more towards their lifestyle and mental growth.
1. Educational Angle
Technology is giving now another way for teens to get and learn new topics related to education. They learn from different articles, write-ups, videos shared on different social media platforms by educational institutes, organizations, and other educational bodies.
2. Social exposure and communication skills
Best way to stay in touch with a friend and family. Everyone is now stuck in our comfort zone inside our home, it’s the only way to stay connected with friends. Apart from this kid who is introvert and not able to express themselves while speaking, share their thoughts via positive conversation.
3. Global awareness
They can expand their worldview and look ahead beyond their viewpoint. This will break the bubble of their own circle and community and look at what was happening across the globe. Making new friends from different backgrounds, knowing what’s happening outside the world, and even understanding the issues will make them better human beings.
4. Career direction
The sky is the limit, and this is what every parent tells their child. Time for them to explore their imagination, creativity, and here they will learn different career options according to their skillset and hobbies too. Teenagers have fresh ideas and by their this creative skill they can develop opportunities via social media.
5. Political views
They are our future and budding leaders. Following different political parties, they learn more about their policies and their working trend and can be a better leader for tomorrow. By this social media they learn more about their rights as a citizen and as an individual.
Like every coin, social media and teens together can lead to negative impact. There are many chances that it can get the negative impact of social media on teenagers and tweens.
1. Screen role
On one hand, we force to have less screen time and with today online classes, if they also include social media in their lifestyle it will affect their physical and mental health. Physical activities are equally important for tweens and teens.
Privacy and safety are a major part when comes to social media, it’s important to teach them about security but many times kids may get influenced and share private details like location, date of birth, phone numbers, and any other information which can lead to dangerous situations.
3. Cyber Bullying
This is one of the major drawbacks of social media, especially since teenagers who are getting harassed, bullied on social media or other digital platforms. These online threads, rude messages, posts can affect your child and your family.
10 Rules as a parent to set between social media and teens
Positive and negative are part of everyone’s life, but as a parent, we need to guide and let them know the value of social media. I am sharing a few rules which one can set as family rules before your child enters this digital world of social media.
1. Build trust between you and your kids that no social media account on any platform without a parent’s permission.
2. Because of safety measures tell them to share password and Id with parents until they are 18+.
3. Tell them importantly to keep their settings of photos and all PRIVATE.
4. They should not chat with strangers, share their location, and never try to MEET ANY PERSON WHOM THEY ONLY MET ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
5. Make them understand we write once whatever on the digital platform is forever, whether you delete it, could be restored or copied anywhere. So always watch your language.
6. Not to indulge in ONLINE FIGHTS, Bullying, or encourage anyone.
7. Post no unwanted image of themselves or any other person.
8. Social media is a privilege, use it properly.
9. As a parent, you can check their accounts, chats, and messages anytime.
10. Break from social media is good and so allot your set of hours for them to spend on social media(suggest not over 2 hours).
Digital media can play a vital role in teen’s life and they can reap maximum benefits from social media with right guidance of parents.
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Disclaimer–This article is an advisory piece.
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