When and How to Teach Your Children about the Internet

Your kid may already be obsessed with Instagram, whether you like it or not. Before your child creates an Instagram account, you should have a conversation with them about the dangers of social media and how to keep them safe.

If you thought you could wait until your child is far into her adolescence before bringing up the subject of social media with you, think again. While it’s illegal for children under the age of 13 to use social media sites like Instagram, many elementary school students have found a way to circumvent it. It’s shocking how many children (with or without parental consent) create social media accounts using fictitious birth dates and email addresses.

A 2017 study by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, found that 28% of 10-year-olds, 46% of 11-year-olds, and a startling 51% of 12-year-olds had a social media presence. As a result, your fourth-grader may be more likely to talk about who posted something on Facebook last night rather than kickball. Yes, it’s horrifying.

As long as children are at the appropriate age to use social media, there are benefits. Many young individuals find inspiration in the successes of others and innovative ways of expressing themselves on social media sites like Instagram. However, parents should also be mindful of the dangers of cyberbullying and improper content that their children may be exposed to online. There is a risk that younger children may not understand the ramifications of their online behavior, which might lead to dangerous circumstances. The popular photo-sharing app is aware of these dangers and is taking them seriously.

Start Early

Social media should be discussed with children from an early age by their parents. There are a lot of youngsters that are online from a young age, even if they don’t use social media. While parents may not be educating their children on Instagram and other social media apps, they can take an active role in fostering talks about the need for social media education.

Make a Game Plan

As a teacher, I encourage children to think about why they want to join Instagram, what a pleasant experience on Instagram might look like for them, and who they could turn to if something feels uncomfortable or doesn’t go as planned on Instagram. This enables them to think about how they would define and build a positive online experience in advance of the need to react to problems. When discussing socialization, self-regulation, and overall safety, focus on the three S’s.

Prioritize the protection of your privacy.

Many Instagram users are unaware of the option to keep their accounts private. The only people who can see, comment on, and like your content will be those who have been approved by you to do so. Your child’s personal information could be protected if this is done.

Encouraging Good Manners

A child’s self-esteem can be shattered if they receive or post negative remarks on social media. Take use of Instagram’s resource guide to teach your youngster about social media etiquette.

Set a specific time frame

It’s not unusual for tweens to spend hours on social media platforms because they are still establishing self-discipline. Work together to figure out how much time each person should spend using apps each day, whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour. You may also use Instagram’s Activity Dashboard, which allows you to block distractions like push notifications and monitor your usage.

Educate Them in the Art of Responsibility

Cyberbullying is becoming more and more widespread. Surveys conducted by CDC show that about 15% of high school students had experienced cyberbullying in the past year. By eliminating abusive comments, reporting negative conduct, and blocking individuals, Instagram allows users to control bullying. Keeping this in mind is essential to their online interactions.

What You Teach Is What You Do

The fact that youngsters absorb everything they see and hear should be obvious to you by now. You’re teaching your children how to use social media in a positive, fulfilling, and motivating way if you use it yourself.

Helpful related articles: Play These 15 Educational Online Games with Your Kids All Day Long, 7 Tips for Preparing Children for Online and Blended LearningWays to Prevent Online Bullying