If your child uses social media, immediately ask 7 questions to understand the ‘virtual world’ that your child lives in every day.

Tram Ho

Recent scientific studies show that the percentage of children aged 10-12 years using social networking applications is increasing. For example, children under the age of 13 are often eager to use social networking platforms for entertainment reasons, celebrities, connecting with friends or being attracted by interesting and popular interactions online. .

However, many parents worry that their children do not know how to select safe and healthy content on social networks and are easily influenced by bad information. Some worry that their children may share private information without realizing the pitfalls of the internet. According to one report, nearly 50% of parents of children who use social media are not confident that their children can tell whether other users are adults or children as this can be difficult to tell apart.

If parents allow young children to participate in social media, the researchers note, it is their responsibility to make their children’s online environment as safe as possible. If parents cannot commit to taking an active role in their child’s use of social media, they should not let their child use these apps.

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Increasing children’s use of social networks

Instead of making assumptions or judgments, talk openly with your child. Ask questions and be willing to listen, even if it’s awkward.

“Social media is now a very important part of most teenagers’ lives, so chatting helps you connect and know how they think,” Sinclair-McBride said. The more your child shows a willingness to listen and help, the more open and honest your child will be.

Experts suggest 7 questions parents can ask their children:

What social media accounts do you have?

Some parents really don’t know what their kids do on social media. So this basic question gives them a way to get started.

Parents can research information about the different social media platforms their children use, helping them manage their accounts safely and optimally.

However, when researching the topic, don’t ask this question right away, making your child feel like he’s being interrogated, says Kristene Geering, Parent Lap’s education director.

Experts advise to build a skillful situation, starting from your story. For example “There was a status on Facebook today that made me mad”. After your child laughs at you for still using Facebook, you can ask them if they’re on social media and why.

What’s your favorite video/photo/meme?

Ask your child to show you one or a few recent videos and photos they’ve viewed on platforms like TikTok or Instagram.

“Parents can learn more about their child’s interests and know better what makes them happy. If possible, parents can also discuss potential pitfalls from those photos/videos. Asking that child is misinformation? Discriminatory or dangerous prank?”, suggested Sinclair-McBride.

You can ask your child to show the accounts or profiles they like and dislike the most. Ask why and why continue to follow hate accounts to encourage critical thinking. To get your child’s consent and be ready to answer questions, be open to saying the same things about your account before asking them.

Who do you talk to the most on social media?

Knowing the answer will give you insight into your child’s world. “Is the group of children who talk a lot on social media a close friend group in real life? Why yes/no? Are there new acquaintances? Are you willing to share more about that friend?”, are questions. Experts recommend finding a way to book for your child.

Psychotherapist Noel McDermott also recommends asking your kids about the people they come into contact with on social media and how they feel. Find out what your child likes about the different spaces he experiences, who is there, who is in the real world, who is not?

Are my child’s accounts private?

Privacy is important on the Internet, but it’s hard for children to understand because they were born in a digital world where everything is accessible.

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Instead of forbidding, parents step into their child’s world

Ideally, accounts should be private so your kids (with your help if age appropriate) can screen for new followers and stuff.

Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins, associate director of the Clay Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, advises asking if your child knows what to do if someone is abusive or if he or she feels unsafe online.

Then, encourage your child to listen to a parent or another trusted adult for advice if a bad situation arises.

How do you feel about using social media?

“Can you find out if he’s comparing himself to others? Does he feel frustrated or isolated when using his social media accounts or what helps him to be optimistic and happy about himself? body when using social networks,” Geering said.

Susan G. Groner, founder of The Parenting Mentor, a parenting service (USA) advises parents to work with their children to find various articles and research on social media use to see what is and isn’t. should do.

Try to help your child understand the difference between reality and what we see online.

What do you like to post?

Ask your child what they like to post online to see how they present themselves in front of others. As you talk, help your child think about the purpose and image you want to build on social media. Help your child think about what’s being posted and possible reactions.

Encourage your child to think twice before posting something. If your child enjoys sharing photos of themselves, ask questions about the photos they like and don’t. Ask your child what he or she wants others to think when they post those pictures.

Do you want to talk to me about any topics posted on social media?

Sinclair-McBride recommends asking if your child wants to talk to you about something on social media?

Give your child a chance to talk to you about their concerns, then offer advice to support and help. Again, show concern, not judgment.

Parents try not to get bogged down in negative fears and assumptions on social media because they can overwhelm the conversation with their children.

“As you build lasting and healthy friendships with your children, teach them how to deal with the bad and enjoy the good. With that, you’ll have more chances to see them grow up happy and healthy. stronger,” Geering said.

Source: CNN; Huffpost

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