How and When to Introduce Your Child to Social Media

June 27th, 2018 by

Parents tend to hear conflicting viewpoints when it comes to introducing children to technology. What is the appropriate age to do so? What kind of restrictions should you set, without stifling your children’s exposure to technology or encouraging them to do things online secretly, unbeknownst to you? All parents want their children to succeed and blossom, but they also want them protect them from the many dangers that are present on the internet. In this post, we’re going to discuss methods through which social media could be presented to your children in healthy, productive ways, without harming their development or self-esteem in the process.

New Ways to Parent in Today’s Social Media Age

The legal age for children to use social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, is 13, but that hasn’t stopped most children from downloading these apps onto their devices and using them anyways. If you’ve ever heard your child say “…but all of my friends have an Instagram,” you understand the daily struggle of trying to maintain a household with responsible technology usage. With that said, some parents have been exploring another option: introducing responsible usage from a very young age. Facebook has even come out with a Messenger for Kids phone app, in which kids under 13 can explore having their own social circle with plenty of parental supervision and restrictions installed. Some parents have even introduced their children as young as 6 or 7 to emailing. There are limitations of course; for example, they can only email their parents, grandparents, or other family members. Their philosophy is that if they wait until their children are in their teens to allow them to use social media, they would have had zero prior experience with handling it on their own, which could potentially lead to dangerous behaviors or situations. Parents who believe in this philosophy feel that kids are using various forms of technology from a very young age, regardless of whether they are given permission. Therefore, it’s important to encourage them to use social platforms in a healthy manner.

Get Involved

Instead of allowing your child to start using social media all of a sudden, “hoping things will work out,” find a way to involve yourself in the process. Talk to them about what they can expect from overusing social media, aspects of self-esteem and how it should not come from what they view online, and the importance of remaining transparent with you, the parents. Kids absorb knowledge faster than you think and instilling healthy habits from a young age can leave lasting impressions on their mental health and self-esteem. Allowing yourself to monitor their usage also makes it easier for them to adjust to the process despite getting older. They know what to expect and won’t have a problem with you investigating their online lives because they’ve come to grow accustomed to it. If you’ve ever tried to talk to your teenager about what they do online, when you’ve never talked to them about it before, then you can understand why you might only hear radio silence out of them. The most important thing you can do is have conversations with them about what you see them doing online. Honest and open communication is key. If you treat your child with respect and set expectations they can comprehend, they will understand your intentions and respond accordingly.

Contact the Nanny Authority Today!

Social media is a topic that many parents fear when it comes to their children. We can’t always be present to watch over them because of other obligations that keep us busy throughout our daily, hectic schedules. That’s why, here at the Nanny Authority, we offer the most responsible and proactive nannies one could find. They work hard to constantly monitor your child’s safety and ensure they’re growing up in a healthy, loving, and supportive environment. We work hard to guarantee the best fit possible for your family. To learn more about how we can assist you in the search for a professional nanny, contact us here or at 973-466-2669 today.