Recently I had read a mom describe her experience of how she accidentally came across a paedophile group who were actively using social media to groom her 10 year for paedophile, there are other incident s where a face that would never been suspected is used to attract small children and after grooming are abducted.
I don’t think you might missed a couple of other news articles which explained about how some mature (middle aged) men seem to have taken up social media to entice teenagers and children of very young ages like 13 or 14 years sweet talking them to have sex with them.
Well, it is not only about nudity and sex, social media these days seem to pose a lot more threat than we actually expected it could, especially in cases like the bluewhale game or the cyber bullying game – They were meant to be just games right?
Initially social media seemed to be a boon in disguise because we could connect with our long lost friends and family living across the globe. We could also enjoy being aware of what was going on around us and all details of the earth around us and beyond.
However little did we know that this was just the tail of a huge lion we have caught strongly and are going to struggle in a dilemma of how to let go ( or even if we can let go at all)
Social Media And Our Kids
Social media in this era is not just facebook and snapchat. We have entered the match making apps, video chats, and skype which has compressed the world into tiny hand held devices.
For kids, they are new age toys and they play with them innocuously. Tweens and teens are more affected because they are easily susceptible. This can be attributed to their hormonal changes and peer pressure where they want to look more knowledgeable than anyone in their class or friends circle.
This has led to a parody where you cannot live in a communication less world nor can let your child use the gadgets unguarded.
Here are some pointers on how you can let your child use social media safely
- Be Aware Of All New Social Media Trends and Keep Updating
Imagine your 13 year old child suddenly says to you that he/she want to go on a trek to Himalaya, would you let him do that? Wouldn’t you just want to know what exactly lies in the path and wouldn’t you actually walk the whole stretch to find out if it is safe for your kid to walk through.
Well, do the same in social media also. Make sure you know what your child is watching, learning and posting in different social media. For this you need to keep yourselves updated. I would say – Don’t hesitate to – TAKE AN ONLINE COURSE- – if that is what learning social media requires.
But don’t get scared, it is not that hard, just make some accounts in social media platforms and use them yourselves before your child could use them.
- Be Open To Communication
I can’t stress more on this point. Being a friendly parent does not mean that you cannot be firm. Firm and friendly is a combination which the required skill to better parenting.
Make sure your kid knows that he/she will be able to tell you anything that goes within without fear of being judged. Children face a lot of pressure unlike our own childhood days. Little did we know about a some distant relative going on vacation to Jamaica or Indonesia.
Today kids have to deal with daily updates of friends who seem to live better life than themselves. If you can give a safe haven for your kid to dump all his pressures, uncertainties, joys and worries, this will help you in a great way to keep in touch of what he is mentally going through because of social media.
- Make Rules and Follow Them
He children of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have been strictly off social media!
Yes, it’s true, and you need to believe this. It is found that teen agers are more susceptible to depression and suicidal behaviour due to addiction to social media.
All this stresses this point- KEEP CHILDREN AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA! Of course we know of many child superstars who are rocking the YouTube channels and other social media. We want our children to be tech savvy too.
So what best can you do?
- Make rule. Give a limited time, say, an hour a day for social media.
- Keep a regular check on what your children do online.
- Do not go overboard and helicopter them, but make sure you check once a week on all that he/she has been doing online.
- Check on recent photos shared, chats and discussions held, and do not forget to check the recent searches made.
- If you kids are 10 years and below use kiddle.com to search instead of google for general searches.
- Never miss a chance to check personal profiles of their online friends.
Teach these Four F’s of Social Media
Teach children these four F’s of social media
- Follow Only Known Persons
- Frisk Through Their Profile Before Beginning a Connection
- Fun is always not fun – No abusive language or pics
- (F)Photo Sharing No No – Never share your unclothed photos
Social media though is a boon can easily destroy your child in many ways, it’s your responsibility to keep an eye on your kid from misusing it