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3 Tips for Monitoring Your Child’s Social Media

Social media is becoming a large part of our daily lives, and even more so for our children. According to a Common Sense Media study, 90% of teens age 13-18 have used social media, and 51% use social media on a daily basis.

Parenting in the digital age can be intimidating! How do you make sure your child is safe? How do you know what they’re doing? And how do you accomplish this while still respecting their freedom of expression?

Whether you’ve already made the family decision that it’s appropriate for your child to be on social media, or are thinking about allowing your child to start a social media account, it’s a good idea to have a plan on how you’ll monitor your child’s social media usage.

Here are three helpful tips to guide your social media monitoring plan:

  • If They’re On It, You’re On It.

With the sheer amount of social media platforms, it probably seems like a daunting task to follow all of your child’s social media accounts. But, to know what your child is doing on social media, following all of their accounts allows you to see all of their public activity.

Have your child make a list of all their social media accounts and proceed to follow all of the listed accounts. If the accounts are set to private, have them approve your follow request. As your child expands their social media presence, make sure to follow the future accounts.

  • Be Passive.

Although it may be tempting to like and comment on every post your child makes, try to take a backseat and just watch their activity. Lurking on their page means your child can keep their social media spaces their own, but with supervision.  If you see something of concern while you’re monitoring their accounts, talk to your child about it.

  • Keep Dialogue Open.

Talking with your child about their online behavior is important, and so is talking about potential situations they may come across on social media. Having a two-way dialogue about what you’re both seeing online will help you understand how your child views their social media experience so you know behaviors to watch out for. Lastly, make sure your child knows they can come to you with concerns about others’ behavior or things that make them uncomfortable.

Interested in learning more about how your child interacts with social media and technology? Check out our Parenting in the Digital Age course or our Parenting in the Digital Age flipboard.

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