Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It’s ok to play on social media with your kids.




I get lots of questions from parents about using social media. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know anything about having a teenager and social media, but I know that giving your kid a device and deciding they are now old enough to just do what all the other kids are doing these days isn’t the best choice for most kids.

Lots of parents will say to me, “I don’t really do that social media thing”, which is fine, but guess what, you need to figure it out.

If the oldies are getting on facebook, you can check out a few apps, you can take a look at what the cool kids are playing with.

You could even have a family account on an app that your kids want to play with.

We have one on Instagram.  Mr H controls it, but the kids are allowed to put what they want on it. It’s a private account and they have six followers, but they follow a few interesting accounts. They can see their cousins photos and write comments on them. They can see beautiful photos from travel photographers and toursim accounts or nature photographers. Via our family instagram account our kids can see images from all over the world.

We talk about what kind of things you can put on instagram, like how it’s important to ask people first before you put them on. We make a big deal of not caring about who liked a photo or not, because they are sharing an image they like and want to keep for later, it’s not about everyone else. Sometimes we look at a hashtag and see what’s there.

Basically it’s a safe place for the kids to play, for us to show them how social can work and for them to make mistakes where no one will get upset.

Of course the nine year old has begged for her own account, but the answer here is no, she can do what she likes on the family account for a while yet.

The girls also get to use my little used Skype account. It’s been wonderful for Miss 6 to use. Her bestie has moved to America and she really misses her. The time differences are so great that they mainly only get to send messages, but she loves it so much. One weekend when they got to chat, she sat in her room and they talked about their new classes, their toys and silly stories. It was wonderful.

Kids don’t need their own social media accounts, but they can certainly benefit from the joys of social apps, and opening up an account that you all use together can be a safe place for little people to learn quite a lot, or, you might even learn a few things yourself.






9 comments:

  1. I really love the idea of having a family account. Just recently, we have been discussing Instagram after Kahlei was upset that people might see pictures of her on there due to some kids at school making fun of how she looks. We talked about what I do on IG and that it's her call whether I can post something of her on my account or not and now she's obsessed with checking out other photos (and will happily approve photos for me to post) so I think this is a logical next step for us. Thanks so much for the idea, it's so important to teach our kids how to appropriately use social media and it can be a very daunting prospect.

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  2. I did write out a long and thoughtful comment only to have it disappear into cyberspace.

    Anyway, the gist of what I was saying is that a family account is a great idea. And I think it's so important that we teach our children from a young age about the place social media should play in society, Teaching them what's acceptable and a balanced approach is crucial.

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  3. The family account is a neat idea! My kids haven't expressed an interest in social media yet but when they do, I like this as a first step.

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  4. I love the idea of a family account to, or just family use in social media land generally. I won't be happy letting my eldest loose on sm for some time yet!

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  5. My boys don't understand blogging and social media, they keep saying "Who is that lady mum? Whose kid is that mum?" when I am on Facebook. I like the idea of a family account too

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  6. Because I work on it a lot they are very inquisitive, thanks for this great ideas here. x

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  7. My baby isn't old enough to be on any social media but he already thinks my phone belongs to him (I tried to keep it away from him, but too late - he is obsessed with the colours and the swiping of all the apps, ha!). I do always think the internet and social media move at such a gallop you have to stay ahead when you have kids. I plan to anyway! LOVE the idea of a family account when the time comes.

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  8. I agree and I didn't think about a family account - though last week while at the Orthodontist my husband let the boys play on his phone. It was logged into his facebook and Sam saw a post about saving our street trees (local). He commented - as my hubby - lucky he spelt what he wrote correctly - save our environment and save our trees :)

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  9. I talk to the kids about my own experiences but so far they haven't accounts of their own. Max sometimes makes YouTube videos of his toys, but that's it so far. x

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