Teaching your child to use social media responsibly

 *This is a collaborative post 

The internet is a huge part of our daily lives, with it being incorporated into our phones, televisions and tablets. This is great as it allows us instant access to huge sources of information and the chance to connect and contact others in seconds. Whilst this is a major benefit of the internet, it can also come with disadvantages that can pose as threats to young people. The introduction of social media has been amazing but has also played a huge role in the decline of young people’s mental health. As a parent, it is important to be the one to introduce social media to your child as you will be able to direct them in the right way and teach them the correct way to use it. Here is some advice from this sixth form in Halstead on teaching your child to use social media responsibly. 

Educate them

Before your child starts using social media, it is important that you take the time to educate them on some of the dangers that social media can pose. Be sure to mention topics such as cyberbullying, privacy, online safety as well as what to do if they come across inappropriate content. There are ways to control the settings to ensure your child is unable to access certain websites, which is a good place to start. Remind your child that social media should be viewed the same way the real world is. Threats and dangers online are just as serious which is why they should be wary about who they share their information with. Oversharing amongst friends should also be mentioned as they should only share information they are comfortable with. 

Talk about mental health

Social media will naturally be covered in perfect images that allude to others having the perfect lifestyle. Remind your child that the majority of the time, this is only a snippet of a person's life and not to compare their own life, experiences and even bodies to others. Spending too much time on their will lead to a decline in mental health which is why it is important their time online is restricted. 

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