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Can I Keep My Kids Safe on Social Media?

kids socialSocial media is where it is now.

You can’t keep your kids away from it. But you can teach them to be smart about it, because unfortunately, story after story tells us that bad things can happen on social media.

So how do you let your kids keep up with everything digitally and socially while keeping them safe at the same time?


The biggest thing that parents can do to keep their kids safe on social media is to keep lines of communication open.

This isn’t any different than any other aspect of parenting – know what’s going on with your kids and don’t be afraid to talk about it.

If your child is old enough to have a Facebook account, Twitter or any other social media, they are old enough to know the dangers and consequences of bad digital citizenship.

Sure, Facebook sets an age requirement of 13, but tons of younger kids are on claiming to be high school or even college age. Not such a great idea to fake a persona, that’s where danger comes from. Don’t be afraid to tell your kids what that can lead to.

Also, let them know you will have access to all accounts. It doesn’t mean you have to check and read every post, but it does mean you should make random, unannounced visits to their sites. You need to know what’s going on with their social media, just as you need to know what’s going on in their actual lives.


If you see bad choices happening on your kids’ social media sites – make sure you address it.

Talk with your children before it happens and let them know where you stand on posts, pictures, chats, all of the components. Is it okay for your teen to post bikini pictures of her? And what happens if you find out she has? You are the parent, it’s up to you to set and enforce your expectations.


Use social media as a teaching tool.

Start small and teach how to be a good digital citizen. Remind them and remind them that any post, text, picture can be public in a matter of moments. Just because it starts out private doesn’t mean it can’t be forwarded and make its way around the school, community, or anywhere, and there’s no getting it back.

Remind them that just because it’s digital, there’s no reason they should act differently. That means, don’t bash or gossip about friends (or anyone), don’t take and/or send pictures that anyone shouldn’t see. Don’t embarrass friends or others, or yourself. Once it’s there, it’s there – teach your kids to be smart and safe.

Also, a huge one to teach over and over is don’t chat with strangers. We all have heard stories of pedophiles posing as teens. Teach your kids, both boys and girls to stay safe.

Social media is a big responsibility. It’s scary to think your kids may be online doing things you don’t know about.

But at some point, they’ll have a Facebook account, a Twitter feed, and probably an Instagram account. It’s a way to connect not only with friends, but also with school clubs and classes.

In the end, teach them to be smart and teach them to be safe. You don’t have to give up parenting just because it’s digital.

About the Author: Heather Legg is a freelance writer who covers a variety of topics including Internet safety and the price of gold.

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One Reply

  1. Great post! Today I was preparing the internet addiction on kids and the facts stated from research reports are very shocking.

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