This post is specifically aimed at parents and families of children in grades 6-12, but all parents and families are encouraged to read it and get informed.

After months of asking, you took the plunge, and now your kid has a phone. Inevitably, soon after the smartphone comes social media (insert parental scream). For most parents, social mediafeels scary when they think about their kids using it. Why is it such a potential pit of despair for parents?

Christine Elgersma — Common Sense Media

If you child has a smart phone, it’s important to create boundaries, expectations, and guidelines for that phone use… both in the home, and out of it. Social Media is a tool for communicating, and smart phones have amplified its ease of use, accessibility, and function. That’s both a good thing… and a terrifying thing. So… what do you do when your child comes to you with their phone and says, “I want a [Facebook/Twitter/SnapChat/Instagram Account] for my phone”? Say yes? Say no? Throw the phone out of the window shouting “That’s it! We’re getting rotary phones!”?

Most importantly: engage in conversation. Find out the “why” behind the ask. Ensure a partnership of trust between you, the child, and the device so that any time a situation arises, they can come to you for advice, ideas, support, etc. Social Media is a tool. As with all tools, they can be very good for what they were designed to do… and when used inappropriately, can be devastating and dangerous. 

Read the linked article below for more information, details, and supports for what to do when your child comes to you asking to engage in Social Media. 

Read Help! My Kid Wants to Use Social Media by Christine Elgersma at Common Sense Media