We know we share a lot of social media safety and we think it’s important that you know how to be safe online….but guess what, we actually love social media and we think the kids should be on it. We know how crazy is that!
That doesn’t mean they need to be on every single platform that is out there. It does mean that you need to be #sociallysafe yourself. You need to have guidelines with your child, learn and be on the platforms they are on. Even if you have no intention of using them yourself, you need an account and you should have a general understanding of how the platforms are used. We also encourage you to get their passwords and if your children are young create the accounts together. Set up a social media contract that both you and your child sign. Take the time to set their privacy settings correctly and talk to them about social media safety. We have to take ‘stranger danger’ talks and now discuss online ‘stranger danger’ with our children.
Social media is a great way to showcase you child’s talents and beliefs/values. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to start creating a positive digital footprint for later in life. We know that universities/colleges and employees will Google them to see if what they have on paper is actually who they are online. You want them to represent themselves online the best way possible. Encourage them to use the THINK rule and post positive, but most importantly you want them to be real online. If they wouldn’t say it in a room full of people, encourage them not to put it online. You need to always remind them that what happens on social media, stays on social media, even if they delete it or think it is an anonymous platform – it is still there or someone has captured it in a screen shot or if need be police are able to access it.
Encourage them to follow people, business, brands and things they are interested in. Social media is a fantastic way to learn more. It’s a great opportunity to do research for school projects and use some of the videos that they watch on YouTube in their presentations if they are appropriate for what they are researching. It’s an opportunity for you to engage and ask questions to industry leaders to help them learn, and collect information for their projects. There are social platforms that can be a great tool for working on school group projects when they can’t actually get together to meet in person.
If they love sports, or are involved in sports, encourage them to post about that. Offer to video them and showcase their talents using a YouTube channel, you never know one day it just might help with that school sport scholarship they are trying to get.
Social media is a great opportunity to stay in touch with family and friends all over the world. They can share videos’, pictures or just even a friendly ‘Hello’ to let them know they are thinking of them. If they are away at school, you will be thankful to have them connect with you online. This is where it is important that they understand privacy settings and who sees what. A picture they share with family may not be one they want to share with their friends.
Gaming, who doesn’t love to play games online, it’s fun, they can play with their friends. We encourage you to know who they are playing with and to be cautious of what personal information they are sharing when gaming online as well as on all social platforms. Discuss private chat and game rooms and that not everyone they met online truly is who they say they are. This is where you need to stress to them the importance of online safety and that they are never to meet anyone in person that they have met online.
If they volunteer in the community, showcase that. Let people see what they are doing to help your community.
Encourage them to post positive messages and things that showcase them being a leader. This will help them down the road when they are looking for a job or trying to get into university or college. Encourage them to be a Digital Leadership Kid! What both of you need to always remember is to put their safety first, THINK before they post and to be #sociallysafe on social media and to have fun on social media, because social media is fun!
About Socially Safe
Stacy Maynard & Kerry Hills are moms with successful social media businesses. We have a passion for helping children understand how to use social media safely. We have joined together to implement into classrooms and the community our Socially Safe, Socially Fun, Social Media programs. We are Moms of kids between the ages of 8 to 15, so we understand the need to help our kids stay safe and create a positive digital footprint. Social Media is not going away and we are passionate about teaching our kids how to use it, have fun and stay Socially Safe.