Tips to ensure that your child isn’t sharing anything online that could later hurt their reputations.
Over 1.8 billion people have at least one active social media account, which means that millions of people are posting something online every day.
As a parent or teacher, you’re probably aware of the social media and online platforms that children are active on but how in touch are you with what they are sharing, even if it’s in a private message to their best friend?
All social media and online users have the option to delete a post, comment or photo but unfortunately, this is also giving users a false sense of security. The problem with the internet is people think they can say anything they want and then delete it later on but there’s a catch.
All it takes is one screenshot to spread an inappropriate image or hurtful post that can affect your child for the rest of their life.
One bad photo or post can not only lead to bullying during your child’s school years but it can follow them into their professional careers too, affecting their chances of securing good jobs.
Tips on Teaching Children to Think Before They Post on Social Media
All parents should make sure that their child has the right ideas about what’s considered appropriate to share online and what should rather be kept private. Here are a few tips for parents:
- Chat to them about privacy.
If your child is very active online, chat to them about who can see their comments, photos and posts. You may even want to check their privacy settings with them to ensure that they’re protected. Ask them to decide whether what they’re about to post is something they would want a parent, a stranger or an educator to see.
- Bring up cyberbullying.
Sometimes the best way to get your child to understand how quickly something can spread online is to present them with different scenarios. Talk to them about the effects of cyberbullying and how they should be treating themselves and others with respect online. There are several documentaries that speak to the devastating effects of children being bullied by their peers, Audrie and Daisy being one of them.
- Instil logical thinking.
Get your child to think logically instead of emotionally when it comes to what they post online. While it’s of course fine for them to express themselves by showing their friends they care or posting about something they’re passionate about, it’s important for them to be logical about the types of photos they share and the comments they make. Would the photo or comment potentially offend or hurt someone? If a private photo got into the wrong hands, how would it affect their life?
By teaching your child to use the internet and technology responsibly, you not only help them to stay safe but you make them better digital citizens.
Visit www.saferschools.co.za for more internet safety tips and advice.