We know that keeping kids connected with their friends over lockdowns is important, AND this is not the time to give children free reign on social media.
Families have the opportunity over lockdown to get alongside their children and learn about how they use social media and be sure that the platforms they are using are appropriate and safe. Normal family practices such as removing devices from children at bedtime and not having devices in bedrooms become more important now than ever. Parents may want to consider restricting the time that children spend on devices.
If your child does use social media, please encourage them to ‘THINK’ before they post:
This will ensure that all interactions are positive.
From time to time, issues do arise. Social media applications usually have community guidelines and offer users the option to report any content that doesn’t meet those guidelines. Blocking the user creating the issue is also a particularly powerful tool if problems persist.
If you would like more information around supporting your child on social media, Netsafe has a great page of social media advice for parents. You can find it here.
Common Sense Media has produced a series of videos for parents, explaining common social media applications. You can find these here.
Please remember that most social media platforms have a minimum age restriction:
Facebook - 13 years
TikTok - 13 years
Snapchat - 13 years
Instagram - 13 years
WhatsApp - 16 years