Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

How To Make Social Media Healthy For Your Kids

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


We all know about the growing addiction of children on smartphones and social media. This makes us worried and indeed we are concerned about the things that they are exposed to online. But with a bit of involvement and some easy tricks, you can help your child build valuable life skills through social media platforms.

Firstly, it is important to make them understand that they shall not believe whatever they see on their favorite social media platforms. They should always verify facts before they react to an online post. Children will gradually be able to verify and evaluate information when you, being a parent will help them to navigate through various social media platforms.

Facebook, Instagram are some of the most popular social media platforms available. An Insta stalker can easily trace if your children post sensitive information on the app. Kids need to be made to understand what is right and what is not; and only you are the right person to help them with the proper knowledge.

Dangers lurking on social media problems

Children these days start with the social media platforms at a very young age. They are flooded with wrong information from various sources that literally have no base. If parents do not keep an eye on that, then this can lead to major consequences in the future. From cyberbullying to various disturbing reactions, unattended social media interactions can land your child in different situations.

Some of the common dangers of social media platforms that plague parents are:

  1. Children find it hard to judge a stranger that they meet in person. Then it will not be absolutely possible for them to understand people over the internet. So it is you who have to make your children understand that people are not what they exactly pretend to be over the internet.
  2. Make sure that your children do not reveal too much information about themselves online. Sharing sensitive information like location will give fuel to the bad intention of virtual strangers.
  3. Make sure that your children do not post photographs that might reveal too much about them. You can use parental controls to check all that your kids post online. Photos can contain sensitive information like location that cab potentially harms the security of your kids.
  4. Cyberbullying is another abundantly occurring incidence that you child might encounter without their knowledge. Try to make them adhere to a list of rules that they need to follow before they can post anything on social media. Make them understand that they cannot post anything that might hurt the sentiments of others. Also, tell them not to indulge in gossiping about others or bullying anyone online.

How to protect your children without denying their fair share of healthy fun?

There are a few ways in which you can make social media beneficial for your children.

  • They will start believing what you say when they can trace the inconsistency by themselves. Help them trace out the inconsistency in the posts that they read or the videos they watch online. Make them understand that it is not a wise decision to believe everyone and thus they need to evaluate everything, whatever they see or read on social media platforms. The ability to screen information and distinguishing between the right and wrong things, will stay with your children throughout their lives and help them to grow as a responsible adults.

  • Your children might encounter several posts that might worry or frighten them. Ask them to directly come to you in case they see something that is bothering them. You both can then research on the given article or video to find the truth in it. This will give them the ability to appraise the screen information which your child will value throughout their lives.

  • A social media platform is a place to showcase feelings and emotions. They will indeed post something related to them and get various feedback about the same. It is important to make your children learn how deal with negative feedback. As much as it is important to help your child deal with a school bully, it is equally important that you help them bravely fight off cyberbullies.

Make sure that you do not -

  • Delete the post, messages, tweets, etc. that directly indicates insults to your children. You can take a screenshot of the same for any future reference.
  • Do not respond to the bully with disrespectful comments.
  • Try and identify the bully with their screen names, email ids or any other relevant information that you might find.
  • You can report the bully to their parents or teacher in case you know them in person and offline.

  • Help them to understand that social media is not the only thing in life. Set a limit to the amount of time that they spend on social media daily. Expose them to real-world activities and encourage them to spend some time with family and friends so that they can keep their minds off the social platforms.

Final words

Social media is a great place to share ideas and feelings with the world. But it has some serious side-effects and you are the one who has to make your children aware of the same. Discuss with them about videos and posts that they have seen in social media and help them to understand that the internet is indeed a virtual world.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.