When should I start talking to my kid about using social sites and apps responsibly?

As soon as your kids begin to go online, you'll want to explain that the Internet has rules that must be followed. Through the preschool years, you'll sit with your kid as you visit sites or play apps together, and you'll gradually taper off into a more supervisory role. Here are some of the key rules for online interaction to discuss with your "newbies."

  • Be a good digital citizen. A good rule of thumb: If they wouldn't do something in real life, they shouldn't do it online.
  • Visit the site's safety section together. Sometimes you can find these sections under "About Us" or "Privacy Policy." Review the rules and find out how your child can report mean behavior or unkind content on their favorite sites.
  • Avoid strangers. Tell your kids that people aren't always who they say they are online. Explain that if someone they don't know talks to them, they shouldn't respond and should let you know.
  • Keep some stuff private. Your name, address, phone number, and how much money your parents make should stay private. But your hobbies, favorite ice cream flavor, or pet's name all can be fun stuff to share with like-minded folks online.
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Comments

Teen, 13 years old written by a.f.2003

One can possibly tell their children about the pros and cons of social media around the age of twelve or thirteen. This is about the time when they start getting more exposed to the outside world and social media. They may be curious, so this would probably be a good time to tell them. :)
Parent written by ParentalAdvice33

I believe you should have the discussion when you began allowing use.We covered what's appropriate and what's not and its a constant discussion especially during our weekly family meetings. We also share with our children true stories of how social media ruined someone's life from one simple post or one simple decision to exchange a provocative photo, and also how social media displays your character and can also affect even more aspects in your life as you age for instance employment. Having four teens my youngest is 13 oldest 17 it has worked. The deal is to be as involved as possible. My husband does not use social media but I do so guess what mommy is your first friend, which means I am front row of what their posting. But don't go into friending your children as the parent that wants to spy (in their eyes). My kids took it as how cool my mommys on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. So if your allowing them to use social media a bit early they will really think its cool your their friend and it will put them in the habit of posting respectful material, but one tip as they grow older into their teens there will be postings that your not fond of that a teen post, but I see it as if its not disrespectful, provocative, or sexual why flip some if their postings also give you a bit of incite of their personal thoughts and feelings. If your involved every story doesn't have to end in some of the social media nightmare that we all have seen. So far of them being in social media since my oldest was twelve it has worked for us.
Teen, 13 years old written by OliRan321

It depends on the maturity of the child and their personal interest in social media. Social media can be a great way for people to connect online as long as it's used wisely. I've never been that interested in these sorts of things but have an Instagram account to mainly chat with friends. The only time I ever talk to someone I don't know might be in the comments of a video, but never about anything personal. I think that they should be able to use these apps and sites when they are 13 which is the youngest you can legally be on most sites.