Parental Guide

Kids Ages 14 +

Parental advice for Children – age 14 +

Research done by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that social media has a long lasting effect on children and families. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are very popular amongst teenagers and the AAP found that “22 percent of teenagers log onto their favorite social media sites more than 10 times a day, and that 75 percent own cell phones. This level of engagement online increases the risks of cyberbullying, “Facebook depression” (a new phenomenon where “de-friending” and online bullying lead to symptoms of depression), exposure to inappropriate content, and sexting”.

During the adolescence years, children need their parents support and approval more than ever. Research has found that with positive communication and positive family activities teenagers can get through and manage these years easily.

It is parents and guardians jobs to prepare their children for the real working world; however, it is also their priority to prepare their children for the online world.

Internet and social media risks for teenagers

  • Your child should not be joining any social media sites if they are younger than 13 years old.
  • Instant message functions on social media sites allow private conversations to take place between individuals. This is not always a good thing as it is very easy to make-up and fake identities online.
  • Most children have access to the social networking sites from their phones or tablets. This can be detrimental if you want to keep an eye on your child’s online activities at home.
  • Information put on social media can be broadcast publically for everyone to see. This can be harmful if the information spread is personal information about your child that you did not want anyone else to know about.
  • It is not easy to delete information or get your ‘good’ reputation back once the information has been out on different networking sites for the world to see.
  • Not everyone your child meets online is ‘real’. Children need to be careful of online stalkers and social groomers.
  • Online chat rooms that children access through networking sites can be dangerous. This is because social groomers and stalkers use this medium to connect with innocent children.

How to keep your children safe online

  • Educate yourself about the different types of social media available. By doing this you are able to know what risks are involved with social media and how to prevent them.
  • Create a social networking account with your child. This way you can keep an eye on their online activities.
  • Set privacy settings.
  • If anyone harasses your child online you must report them to the site administrator with the ‘help’ or ‘report’ tabs if available .
  • Teach your children how to block or delete people form their social media accounts that are bothering them.