As parents, we work extremely hard to protect our children from danger, heartache, and uncertainty. We can’t control everything, but we want to know what they’re getting into and how best to support and help them. To help when addressing your teenager’s social media use, we worked with advisors and fellow parents to create a brief guide of ten tips for monitoring children’s social media use.
1) Monitor Child’s Facebook Chats
Did you know that no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook? However, there is no real way for Facebook to truly enforce it, because anyone can lie about their year of birth. You need to make sure that your child stays away from Facebook until 13 AND until you are comfortable with him or her having an account. There are measures put in place, such as reporting an underage child, but ultimately, it should be the parent who has the say on when and if that account gets created.
anyway there is a solution for monitoring your child’s Facebook messenger. CRT lets you view all the Facebook chat conversations that take place through the phone. With CRT, Facebook spy software you can: View all Facebook chat conversations, View stickers and emoticons which are wildly popular as chat shorthand or substitute for entire conversations, Find out the names of people they have been chatting with, Get time and date stamps to know when each chat took place, Get access to any photos, videos or audio files sent through Facebook chat and saved on the child’s phone, Check out the friend list and any newly added, View profile pictures of their friends and everyone they chat with, All Facebook chat conversations are uploaded to your online CRT control panel which you can access from anywhere with an internet connection.
In elementary school, I was bullied by a bigger child who lived close to me elementary school. Every day I ran to and from school to avoid him chasing after me. I didn’t feel comfortable telling my parents, so instead, I faced daily bullying and each day was tougher than the last.
No child wants to talk about these experiences nor do they want to identify with a child who is bullied. It’s as embarrassing as it is scary. From having the bully aware that you’re a “tattle tale” to having the bullying worsen to the point of physical violence, the consequences of a situation not being handled the right way can be severe. If your child is being bullied, your first step should be to get as much information as possible while showing love and support. You’ll feel anger and want it to stop immediately, but this is an experience your child will learn from and also shape how other students view and treat them in the future.
“Antibullying efforts cannot be successful if they make teenagers feel victimized without providing them the support to go from a position of victimization to one of empowerment.” For more information on stopping and preventing cyberbullying, visit How to save your child from bullies?, an organization After School aligned with to help prevent bullying on their app. They offer guidance for parents on cyber-bullying, specifically concerning social networks.
3) Check Privacy Settings
4) Use Filtering Software
There are software suites you can monitor your child’s Internet usage; many even enable you to view the exact keys that were typed, time spent online and all mobile activity in general. Popular programs let you monitor social media sites, block chats, filter content and much more. You can even monitor your child’s cell phone with a software program like CRT.
5) Get To Know What Your Child’s Habits Are
You don’t need to be a super sleuth and spy on your kid’s every online move, but it is important to be aware of the kinds of sites he is frequenting and the people he is associating with. You get to know the friends he’s hanging out with at school, and his online friends shouldn’t be any different. One of the contract rules should be that you have full access to his Facebook friends and can take a look whenever you wish.
6) Enable Restrictions and Parental Controls
To see mature content, users on After School must verify that they are 17 or older by scanning their driver’s license, although the information is not stored by the app, and the scan can be completed using airplane mode.
If you want to limit their use on social media platforms, you have several options:
- Parental Settings on Apple Devices: Parental settings can be implemented on your child’s Apple device by going to Settings -> General -> Restrictions.
- Apple Store Restrictions: Restrict specific apps or specific categories on their iOS device.
- After School App Parental Controls: If you want to monitor or limit their use of After School, there are parental controls that allow you to password-protect access onto the app, requiring a password to unlock it.
7) Limit Cell Phone Use
Just as you would limit use of a computer, TV or gaming system, you can do the same with a cell phone. Set rules for the device, only allowing cell phone usage at certain hours in the evening or after homework has been completed. If you have teens of driving age, the most important rule to enforce is that under no circumstances should cell phones ever be used while driving. Phones should be kept off so incoming text sounds aren’t a distraction or should be kept in the glove compartment, out of reach.
8) Talk to Kids about Online Dangers
You may feel like you’re scaring your kids when talking to them about the dangers of being online, but it’s better for them to be scared than to be unaware. Having an open line of communication is crucial the minute your kids start using the Internet more independently. Parry Aftab, noted online safety and privacy expert and Executive Director of WiredSafety, says,“Who’s a stranger online? Everyone is! You need to remind your children that these people are strangers and that the standard rules always apply.”