Safe social media for primary aged children
- Here are some things to try to help ensure social media plays a healthy role in your child’s life
Things you can try
Start by understanding what’s good and bad about social media and the role it plays in your child’s life
Encourage them to go on appropriate social media platforms in busy parts of your home so you can check in and chat with them about what they are up to
Look at age-appropriate social media platforms together
Let them show you where they want to go, what they want to use and who they want to connect with. You may learn something.
Talk about how to have fun and be safe at the same time
They may already know more about this than you think.
Talk to your child about how they might feel when they see certain things on social media
Children now often understand the term ‘fake news’, and this is a good way to explain it. You may want to start a conversation with your own example. For instance, ‘when you see some images on social media does it make you think other people have better lives?’. Then remind your child that what they see are just bits, and probably the best bits of people’s lives.
Make sure that online activity is in addition to, not instead of, real life connections
Build screen time around family activities, not the other way round. Many people find that children like to share their online time with adults they trust.
Be a good example and keep to the rules you set your child.
For instance, avoid using a device when a child isn’t allowed to and make time to listen and pay attention to your child without a phone in your hand. Children frequently complain that the adults in their life are spending too much time online, being distracted and ignoring them.
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