Do you have a Facebook profile so you can monitor your child’s behavior when they’re online? Internet safety is important so if you aren’t discussing internet safety with your child, now is the time to do so. A lot of parents use Facebook not only as a way to follow their children’s online behavior but to communicate with them as well. Here are some tips that will help you communicate with your kids without getting in the way of their social life:
Tip # 1 – Watch your comments
Since kids use Facebook to connect with their friends, the last thing they need is Mom reminding them to do their chores on their Facebook wall. Don’t embarrass your child on Facebook. Keep your comments to a minimum or send them personal emails on Facebook if you need to communicate with your kids. This is a great way to remind them about appointments or chores without embarrassing them.
Tip # 2 – Monitor your child’s behavior
Your child’s safety may be one of the biggest reasons why you created a Facebook profile so test the privacy settings by going on without logging in and looking your child up. If their profile comes up, talk to your them about setting their profile to private along with their pictures so only their friends can see their wall and their photos. It’s also important to have a discussion about what personal information they are putting on Facebook, making sure they haven’t listed their home address, phone number or email account as these pieces of information lead stalkers and other his can get them into serious trouble with stalkers and online predators. You don’t need not look at every comment your child makes or every comment left on their page. Just look at their profile page every now and then to make sure they aren’t using inappropriate words or engaging in groups that are inappropriate.
Tip # 3 – Talk to your child
Sit down and have dinner with your child and talk with them. When you are getting started with Facebook, ask your child sit down and help you even if you do know how to do it. This is a great way to build a relationship with your child because they love to teach their parents. Have your child walk you through their Facebook page to show you some of their friends and groups that they are involved in. This is one of the best ways to establish trust between you and your children as they have no problem showing you about their personal life so you don’t feel the need to check on their Facebook page daily.
Discuss a few of the dangers of online behavior like instant messaging people they don’t know and adding people they don’t know as friends to their Facebook page. Even if they do know some people, adding people like their school teachers is inappropriate so encourage your children to only add their close relatives and friends versus other adults.
Tip # 4 – Pictures
While adding fun pictures to Facebook can be innocent, there are times when it can get out of control. If there are pictures of your child engaging in illegal activity, such as drinking, can lead to suspensions from school or they can get arrested for their behavior. Evidence of underage drinking is one of the common problems you’ll see on social media sites. Should you discover pictures of this nature of your child on Facebook, remove them and make sure your child understands the seriousness of the situation.
Social media sites are fun and they are a great way to communicate with your kids. Just make sure you are still talking to them in person instead of letting the internet become your primary source of communication with your own children.