Let’s face it! We can’t separate the two. It is inevitable that our kids are addicted to smartphone/tablets and social media. As parents what can we do? Let our children decide about social media? Probably not! So how do we convey our concerns?
This is the hardest part! When communicating we need to make sure to convey our concerns and worry. Miscommunication can occur as easy if we are not careful about what/how we convey! The apps that our kids are exposed to are so advanced and many in number that we can hardly comprehend its usage! Nevertheless it is our duty and responsibility to know about the app and the danger it poses.
Some of the apps that we need to look out for are Whisper, Tumblr, Tinder, Snapchat, Kik etc. Though these apps are alternate to the ones already available some of the features that should make us concerned are copying the profile information from another social media site like Facebook or Twitter, children not requiring to create an account in order to post something or share with someone. These apps are warning bells for parents and needs to be attended to tentatively.
Some of the things that may enable us some peace of mind is limiting the time of usage of smartphone/tablet. There is a need to convey the danger of using certain social media apps. Additionally we can also discuss with them about the need of a certain app and its safe usage. How can we achieve this? Earlier we had mentioned about communication and this is the time to use it, use a calm and rational method and convey our concerns.
Although difficult we may approach our kids to enable us to ‘friend’ them and ensure that our role shall only be passive and almost invisible. This enables us to keep track on the things that our kids share and also about who their friends are. If we find something suspicious, we cannot immediately question our kids. Since our role is ‘passive’ we need to find ways to gather more information about the person/ sharing and broach the subject tentatively. We can do this only with more information! Further we can open the channel of communication by masking our concerns as queries. Nothing too intense but like a general interest.
The intention in all this is to make sure our kids are not misled and even if they do, we know about it in time and take action. Social media though dangerous has become a need for our kids to stay updated. Hence it is time for us to make best of the available options.
To know more about reaching out to kids and communicating better with them, Prerana Academy is commencing a certification course in children and teenagers in June 2016. Log on to www.preranaacademy.com to know more.