Our daughter has gone behind our back (again) to create and install another tiktok account - we have all the security measures and she works out a way to break them). She says she gets left out otherwise and doesn't know / get invited when she's not on social platforms. However I just think she is too young. There are soooo many reasons and content that is just not age appropriate and I don't want to willingly allow her access to. And yes before anyone says anything..... she has lost her phone and all technology and is grounded for an eternity for breaking the rules as listed above. Help!”
Online can be an amazing place for young people to socialize and chat with friends, play games and be creative. But you are right to have some parental concerns.
Every child is different and some will be ok not being involved in online chatter and antics but other kids will feel left out and alone/lonely if they cannot participate in online activities with their friends.
The internet has many predators and badly behaved adults and children who hide behind the anonymity of online profiles to say things they would never say in person. In particular where gamers play in virtual environments and can chat to strangers is particularly notorious for atrocious behaviour. Age inappropriate content is everywhere and not all content is rated so this can be presented to children without them wanting or needed to see it.
Your child will participate in social media even if she doesn’t have an account ie she may be asked by friends to do a silly dance or be video recorded doing something and those friends will publish content of her.
By allowing her to have an account and teaching her the right and wrongs and supervising the content she is publishing about herself and others will help her learn the right way to interact and give her tools to be able to say “no please don’t publish my photo” or “let’s not post that unless you have geo location turned off”. Although most kids won’t want to be “that kid” who stops the fun and think they will get picked on.
By giving her access to social media she can untag pictures of herself she doesn’t want found by future employers or request they be removed. You can request that she must have you as a friend or connection so you can Monitor content.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your children are safe.
Removing all online access is one way but it is similar to saying I don’t want my kid to break their leg so I’m not letting them go to the playground. Just like you teach your child to be safe in the playground or when playing a sport teaching children to be safe online is also a parents job.
Online can be an amazing place for young people to socialize and chat with friends, play games and be creative. Guide them to more creative online pursuits.
More to come....