Veremis, L. (2015, April 14)Keeping kids safe and kind online.” Retrieved from http://www.weau.com
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) — From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, social media sites are growing fast and evolving.
For parents, that creates a struggle to navigate new territory and ensure their kids understand the risks and benefits of social media sites.
Local expert Andrea North, with #SocialSchool4EDU, works closely with the New Auburn school district to promote healthy social media use. She also has two daughters, a 7-year-old and 10-year-old, and can relate to the challenges as a mom.
“You’d be surprised at how early they start having their own profile, on Facebook, on Twitter,” North said.
She has three main tips for other parents to keep in mind.
First, communication is imperative.
“It’s critical because things are always changing, you need to have that open dialog,” North added. “Ask them what they’re using, have them show you, if they’re uncomfortable showing you there might be a problem.”
Next, realize social media sites have age requirements. There is a reason Facebook and Instagram have age limits, it’s the law, North says.
But more importantly, she says children’s brains are still developing. They don’t always understand the complete repercussions of sharing information on these platforms.
North recommends setting clear rules, expectations and consequences with your kids. An open door policy with tech devices can help. Tech-free times is also important.