Regulate your child’s social media usage.
Children need endless entertainment and interaction. A parent can run TO and FRO the entire day, and still come up short with ways to keep them occupied. Toys, games, books, classes, television… all of them were the master weapons of misdirection that parents employed.
But all that changed with the advent of social media. A giant too strong to be controlled, it became an essential part of daily life and an ultimate entertainer for the kids. Over the past decade, younger and younger children have started using social media in their daily life. This can be harmful for them because of many reasons -
1. Children are easily influenced when they are at a young age. With their brain still developing, every thing they absorb can become a factor in determining future patterns and behavior.
2. Social media has been designed in a manner to keep people’s attention, and make them want more of it. By design, it promotes constant consumption of new content. It can cause an addiction if not timed properly.
With these reasons and more, it has become the duty of the parents to become the source of guidance and discipline. Long gone are the days when a spin in the car was the ultimate thrill, it’s the thrill of another like that has the kids going on. This is where your role as a parent can play an important role. Regulating your child’s social media usage can make a vast difference in the way they interact with it.
Here are some ways how you can teach your child how to be a responsible consumer of the medium.
Set a time limit-
Too much of anything is always a recipe for disaster. Access to phones and laptop is easy in today’s day and age. You need to understand how much social media consumption is good for your child, and set the limits accordingly. Take into consideration the strain that using screens will put on your children’s eyes. With a regulated time limit, you’ll be able to keep check on how much they’re spending on it as well as instill a sense of discipline in them.
Teach them how to interact online -
Children are innocent in their dealings with other people. Online communication is an even trickier area for them. Teach them how to interact with people. Make them aware of the threats, like cat phishing and identity thefts. Teach them to identify the red flags, which questions to avoid and what information is safe to be divulged.
Be aware of their online friends -
Social media is a place for interaction. People meet, they talk, and they become online friends. Kids especially, can get caught up in the frenzy of it and end up conversing lot of people online. Be aware of the people your kids are meeting online. Sometimes, these interactions can be really beneficial for your kids, but it is your duty as a parent to weed out the unwanted imposters who might not be a good fit for your children.
Teach them how to consume content responsibly –
There are various platforms that you can use - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and what not. Young children today are not only present, but highly active on these platforms. Hence, they are surrounded by a variety of content. Keep a watch on the social media usage of your kids. Regulate the topics that they’re touching on, firmly discouraging them from violent and disturbing content. Instead of screaming at them, explain to them why such things are not suitable for them.
With social media playing such a huge role in our daily lives, the children cannot be kept away from it all the time. What can be done instead is instilling certain rules and regulations, keeping a vigilant check, and encouraging them to use it for the right reasons and in the right manner. Social media might be an unstoppable giant at this point, but you as parents can decide whether it’ll turn out to be your child’s friend or foe.