Being a teenager in the digital age is hard work. So is being the parent of a teenager in the digital age. There are a lot of news reports about how scary social media can be. There are also people who think it’s detrimental to teens. However, social media isn’t going away any time soon. We have some tips on ways digital parental monitoring can benefit your family.
(teens, don’t hate me…we seriously want to see you safe!)
What’s So Scary?
Well, the Internet is a vast place. While it’s amazing to have so much information at your fingertips, some of that information isn’t necessarily appropriate for kids. There are various things you should be concerned about. These include:
- Certain advertisements and links: some of these links can lead to inappropriate content or give third parties secure information unintentionally.
- Age-inappropriate content: this content ranges from profanity to X-rated material. It’s just one of many things to shield your children from.
- Hackers: there are many people on the web looking to steal information, including credit card or your identity.
- Predators: remind your kids that people are not always who they claim to be.
- Online bullying, discrimination, or harassment: it’s important to stay aware of how these are influencing your child, either as the victim or the bully.
- Sneaky apps: It’s important to know what kind of apps you children are using. Certain apps can be used for less-than-innocent behavior.
Feeling A Little Overwhelmed By The Digital World?
SDB gets it. We can help!
There’s An App For That
There are many monitoring apps for parents these days. Some of them range from simply notifying you how often your child is online to the more heavy duty paid software options, like NetNanny. You can check out a really great list of options from this list.
Cellular service providers also offer different monitoring options via your cell phone plan. AT&T’s Smart Limits allows you to set time restrictions, data limits, and caller blocking. Verizon offers a similar service under their Family Safeguards & Control options.
Gotta Have A Password To Play
This is more important for younger teens, though it can be beneficial for older ones, as well. In order to have access to social media and the Internet, require that you reserve the right to access all of their accounts at any time.
This doesn’t mean you should “invade now, ask questions later.” Parental intuition is usually right. You also know your child’s habits, mannerisms, and characteristics better than anyone. The password rule creates a balance of accountability, trust, and responsibility for your kids. It also gives you an easier way to monitor any distress signals you notice.
Communication Is A Two Way Street
Constantly talk to your kids about new apps, software, or other things you’re concerned about. Keeping up an open line of communication is important. You want you kids to feel like they can talk to you about things. It’s important to set ground rules, stick with them, and remember…you were a teenager once, too (shhhhhhhh, we won’t tell anyone, though!).
Be sure to check back tomorrow! We’re going to discuss ways you can create a harmonious balance between the rules and giving kids a little freedom.