Safer Social Media

Top 5 Tips for Parents to Ensure Safer Social Media use by Teens

Written by Shristy Bastola, Senior Behaviour Therapist and Early Intervention Consultant
Tuesday 9th February, 2016 is “Safer Internet Day”. Here are our Top 5 suggestions for ways to support and encourage safer social media use.
1. Befriend your teen!
E.g., befriend them on “Facebook”. This will give you a good indication of what they post, like and comment on. Be careful however that you don’t make unwarranted comments or you might find yourself filtered or even blocked!
2. Set realistic boundaries and time limits
Online profiles should be secondary to face to face interactions for all teenagers. Technology should not interfere with sleep, mealtimes, schoolwork or physical activities and hobbies.
3. Be a good role model
Show them that a good balance is possible; don’t constantly rely on your phone while in their sights. Remember; monkey see, monkey do.
4. Educate your teenager about safety and privacy on the internet
Does your child know that Google adjusts its advertisements to suit his/her location and previous google searches? Does your child understand that what is posted online can never truly be deleted? Bring to their attention the long lasting effects, not just the immediate gratification.
5. Don’t promote the use technology as a means to pass the time
Take time to plan your days together, give them opportunities to engage, explore and learn. Social media tends to be a fall back when children are bored, keep them busy with enjoyable activities whenever possible.