Hello lovelies, welcome back to my page I truly hope you’re having a wonderful day I have spent the day with my daughters coming up with new juicing recipes and had the most wonderful dinner of fresh salmon and cauliflower rice which went down a treat. I love the fact that my daughters are both so versatile in their eating habits.
My eldest daughter is sometimes a fussy eater but nonetheless she point blank refuses to eat chicken nuggets or pizza all those junk foods and loves to eat healthy food like fresh fruit and vegetables with meat or fish, in fact, she would totally love on seafood if I let her I swear she was a dolphin in her past life.
We then went on to watch a movie with healthy snacks and had lots of fun using the new Snapchat filters boy do my girls love a selfie!
So the question I got asked today from one of my mummy friends and have been asked on numerous occasions is….
“what age should you let your children use social media?”
To answer this question my first thought is that it’s totally up to you. Most of the social media platforms and apps out there usually have the age requirement of being 13 years old and despite what many parents think this isn’t because they want to limit your child’s exposure to inappropriate content it is actually because of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This prevents companies from acquiring certain information about children under 13 years old.
Instead of companies like Instagram and Facebook trying to create a platform for children to use and try to keep children safe from these situations, it’s much easier just to prevent them using the platform in the first place. In all honesty, 13 years old is usually the time of a Childs life where they are finding themselves and starting to try and understand the world much more. They are going out with friends and building relationships they are maturing and wanting to further develop their understanding of life.
My eldest daughter expressed a huge amount of interest in social media sites when she started high school and she was only 12 and I know from experience that children are receiving mobile phones and ipads at such a young age these days it’s hard and I knew that if I explained everything about internet safety and my expectations of her if she was allowed to use these sites then I could trust her in doing so. The social media sites I allowed her to purchase we’re Facebook, snapchat and Instagram.
In doing so I instilled rules that she must follow and I think every child should be following to keep them safe. So if you have a child who is expressing interest (basically not stop nipping your head) for snapchat or Instagram then these are my rules to follow that may help you out.
Rules for social media sites.
1) Use privacy settings.
This is a must for me, I know they aren’t foolproof but they do keep your child safer when online. As a parent learn how the privacy settings work and then sit down and explain them fully to your child and why you are implementing these settings on their app. Also get your child into the regular habit of checking their privacy settings once a week at least.
2) Think before you post.
In my experience and having a teenage daughter thinking before you post was a huge rule she must obey especially when it comes to cyberbullying and following the crowd. They have to remember that their post will not only be seen by their friends but also a huge amount of other people too and if they want to use the site they have to be responsible and respectful to others. The Internet is a vast space and once you post something online it is then there forever.
3) Only befriend people you know.
This is one of my top rules they have to only add people they know in life and are friends or family members. I explained the reasoning behind this to my daughter and it was obviously because you just never know who you are speaking to. Children are naive and if a child or a person who is mimicking a child add them they’re more than likely to just hit that accept button and it could be a paedophile or someone trying to make friends only to chat about other things like that who is behind the photograph.
4) Befriend your child on all platforms.
One of my rules was she had to have myself and her father as a friend on the site that way you can keep an eye on what’s been posted and the other conversations if need be. This way you can see how they are treating the site their behaviour and whether they are being responsible enough to stay on the site.
5) Keep private information private.
This is a must for me no phone numbers or addresses given out at any costs. Explain to your child why you don’t give this information over the Internet and if they are unsure come to you before doing so.
6) Go to a parent if they are unsure.
I basically drummed it into my daughter that she must come to me immediately if she receives any messages or comes across any websites that make her feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
7) Never meet up.
One of my biggest rules I strongly impose is that she may NEVER meet with someone she met online in person without explicit permission.
8) Never give out password.
I know all the passwords for my daughter’s social media accounts and I have drummed it into her that she must NEVER share her password with anyone. Also, she must always be sure to sign out of public computers like when she is visiting the local library.
9) Never purchase anything without permission.
I, unfortunately, found this out the hard way with a £100 bill on my Xbox account for add-ons for the games she was playing. So now she must NEVER purchase anything without asking first.
10) Never give out information on where they are.
I explained to my daughter she must never give out any information that identifies her location, like where you’re going to be at a certain date or time unless it is myself or her close friends who she is specifically speaking to and the reasons why we don’t do this.
If you have a child who is expressing a strong interest in joining a social media platform I urge you to implement these rules and of course one’s of your own to keep them safe and of course, let you sleep a little bit better at night not worrying about them as much. Really the only person who is going to know if your child is responsible enough to handle a social media account is you as the parent these are just some different ways to help keep them a little bit safer while doing so.
Do you have any rules in your house for social media?? I’d love to hear them below.