Social media is now the order of the day, and it is very easy for teens to become addicted to it. So, to help prevent your teens from becoming addicted to social media, you’ll need to monitor their activities online.
Hold on a second!
When I say you need to monitor their social media activities, that does not mean you have to sit with them all day observing them.
Let me tell you something… you self go tire!!😂😂
That’s just the obvious truth.
Social media has long since become a dominating feature in the lives of today’s teenagers.
As parents, we may hope that our teens choose to spend their time elsewhere but in reality, we must accept that social media is here to stay.
The best that we can do is to help our children become good online citizens as well as responsible children at home.
Thankfully, there are steps that we as parents can take to ensure our children’s safety when they use social media.
If you are interested to know these steps, then let’s get right into them.
How to monitor teens and their social media activities
Here are 7 steps that will help you to monitor your teen’s social media activities and shield them from the harmful aspects of it:
1. Set some ground rules:
The world is governed by rules that come with consequences when broken.
You need to do the same with your teens when it comes to using social media.
Even before you give them access to a computer, phone and social media accounts, you must set some rules.
These rules will guide their activities on social media and limit them from consuming content that will hurt them.
The rules may include when to go on social media and how long they are allowed to do so.
Failure to adhere to the rules may result in them being grounded from using the device for a period of time.
Instead long hours on social media, teens can help with house chores.
2. You must be digital savvy:
Stop forming “I am too old to learn new things.” 😂😜
You are absolutely depriving yourself of the opportunity to learn and this will affect your kids.
It is very easy to find Moms saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Omo!! It’s not true. Trust me on this.
Learn this digital space and save your children from consuming the wrong content.
As Moms, we must educate and upgrade ourselves and know the computers, phones and social media sites our kids use regularly.
We must also understand their sign language.
Hehehe… You need to learn all those acronyms like 143 which means “I love your” and the rest of them.
Ah ahn!! You asking how I got to learn that one?
Well, welcome to the digital age, Mamma.😂
It is only when you understand these things that you will be able to monitor them appropriately and guide their usage.
3. Check their devices regularly:
Now that you have trained yourself to be digital savvy, you have the role to check your children’s phones and tablets at intervals.
Just before you say it is a violation of their privacy, remember we are talking about teenagers here.
If I want to talk like a typical Nigerian Mom, then I will emphasize the fact that they are still eating my food and living under my roof.🤣🤣
But it is true na… 🤷♂️
Going through their gadgets now that they are teenagers is not a violation of privacy rather it is a necessity.
The internet and social media are constantly evolving with apps that hide inappropriate pictures and others that control other people’s phones.
So, you have to beware of what your teen is viewing and using.
4. Engage strict privacy settings:
A lot of social media platforms allow you to set strict privacy settings that prevent people from picking your information.
Make sure that you help your teens to set up their privacy settings and prevent malicious attacks.
If possible, do the settings by yourself before you even give them the phone.
5. Educate your kids about cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a real thing that is steadily driving a lot of teenagers crazy.
Not just teenagers, even adults are being bullied on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every time.
If you are not aware, at least you may have heard that someone is being “dragged” on Twitter or Instagram.
That “dragging” is cyberbullying.
It makes the person uncomfortable and unable to interact freely online.
Cyberbullying does not only come from strangers, it may also come from people who are familiar with you both.
So, you must educate them to be aware of the things that happen on the internet.
5. Teach kids to protect their online reputation:
Have you heard the statement “The internet never forgets?”
You may not believe it, but the internet truly never forgets.
That’s why someone will post something today, then another person will go and bring a screenshot from 10 years ago that contradicts the new post.
Also, many people have lost job opportunities, scholarships and grants because of a careless social media post.
So, you must educate your teens to be aware of these things and mind what they post on social media.
This will help them to maintain a clean social media reputation and ensure they are without fault.
6. Make your teens understand that social media is full of lies:
A lot of young people have attempted suicide because they are not enjoying the type of life that their mates are enjoying online.
The peer pressure is too much.
But the fact is that while there are some who own real possessions, many are just doing it for the gram.
They live extravagant lives just to make these teenagers feel worthless.
You must educate your child against this.
Not all that glitter is gold.
By doing this, you would be saving them from excessive peer pressure on social media.
7. Be a good example to your children:
Whether we want them to or not, our kids follow our lead.
As a result, we must make sure that we are setting a good example for them to follow.
Practice smart online usage and watch your kids follow your footsteps to practice smart online etiquettes.
The social media world is a very difficult world to navigate and it has the ability to affect one’s mental health or cause serious addiction.
Because of that, you must protect your teens from these social media platforms.
These seven tips above are just a few ways we can monitor our teens’ social media usage.
What other tips do you recommend? Care to share in the comment section?
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Rooting for you,