Social media is a major concern for parents everywhere. After news of the students involved in the Steubenville rape last week, parents are outraged and looking for understanding of the incident turned social media event. The students were convicted based on explicit text messages, videos and Facebook posts that were made.
It is important that as a parent, you are taking a stand on control of social media within your households. Here a few quick tips to make sure your children are not engaging in inappropriate online communication:
1. What is Inappropriate?
Do not assume your child understands what is inappropriate social media communication. Take a minute to speak with your child about what they can and cannot engage in online. It is important that you have a discussion about the good, bad and ugly of social media.
2. Get Online.
Technology is changing each and everyday. It is important that you are familiar with the types of social media that your child is engaged in. Create a Facebook page and friend your daughter/son. Take an interest in what technology they are currently using so you are not in the dark.
3. Set Rules.
Set some ground rules for your child. Make sure they understand what your rules are for using social media on cell phones, social media websites and computers. Make sure you have passwords to access their accounts at anytime. (Remember the legal age to have a Facebook account is 13)
4. Educate Your Child.
Sexual assault and topics about sex will not go away if you ignore them. If your children are not learning about these topics from you, they are learning incorrect information from their friends. It is important to have these discussions with your children. Make your children feel comfortable coming to you with issues they have heard about or experienced. Need a little help starting the conversation? Click here to visit the Planned Parenthood website for resources to start the conversation.