Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

How to Discuss Instagram Safety with Students

., you're logged in!
Enjoy this resource and share our programs with your school district to send these resources to your whole community
Tell Your School District About Our Program
., you're logged in!
Share this resource with a parent at .
Copy Share Link
., you're logged in!
Enjoy this demo pass. Click the button to share access with leaders in your school district
Share Your Demo Pass With School District Leaders
How to Discuss Instagram Safety with Students Expert Guest Blog SmartSocial.com

Nearly three out of every four teens now uses Instagram. It's a great space for students to connect and show off their creativity, but students can also run into some trouble on the popular app if they aren't taught to safely use it. Keeping a healthy dialogue open with kids about social media safety is more important for parents than any parental control software available. As parents and educators, it’s important that we promote communication and lead by example. However, sometimes this is easier said than done.

Smart Social created this Instagram App Guide for parents and educators. We also asked some parents and social media experts to share their best tips for parents who want to discuss Instagram safety with their children.

Keep communication open and set boundaries

Chris Brantner headshot
Chris Brantner

Chris Brantner, CutCableToday.com

As a former teacher and parent of a teenager, Instagram is a topic I'm very familiar with. In grades as low as 5th, we saw incidents of Instagram posts leading to trouble. It's difficult to handle as a parent due to the prevalence of social media use. The way we handled it seems to have worked pretty well. First of all, when you first get your child a smartphone, make sure to set limits. Ensure that they understand that you'll be keeping an eye on what they're doing, and reinforce responsible social media use from the beginning.

Keep communication open, and set boundaries when they're ready for social media. Ensure that their Instagram accounts are private, and ensure that you follow them on Instagram with your own account so you can see what's going on. Now, you have to tread a thin line. You don't want to be overbearing and discuss every single picture they post. But keep track and discuss what's appropriate and what's not. Like anything else, it's all about parent involvement.

Make your students the expert and have them teach you

Josh Ochs headshot
Josh Ochs

Josh Ochs, Founder of SmartSocial.com

As parents and educators, you want to empower your students to become good digital citizens to protect them from cyberbullying, child predators and other physical or emotional dangers. You also want your kids to always remember that what they share online can have a huge impact on their reputation - now and in the future.

I always recommend closely monitoring your student’s Instagram activity and also encouraging your kids to teach you about the latest updates and social media trends. This can help keep an open dialogue and show that you have a genuine interest in what they are doing on Instagram, rather than just checking up on them. It’s also important to remind them they can always come to you or a trusted adult if they run into any problems or uncomfortable situations on social media.

Empower students by making them aware of online threats

Gurpreet Juneja, Top Daycare Centers

Communication is the foundation to all digital safety, even on Instagram. From my experience of being an educator, and a mother of an 8-year-old and a 14-year-old, building a solid relationship with kids is the first step to establishing and implement safety protocols. In today’s digital world it is impossible to keep our kids away from technology, but by making them aware of the online threats, we as educators can empower them. By explaining the need, and purpose for installing a safe digital monitoring software, trust can be established making parent control software easily acceptable.

Monitor your student’s Instagram activity

Seth Gilgus headshot
Seth Gilgus

Seth Gilgus, Online Optimism

As wonderful as social media is, it is also equally dangerous for young eyes who may stumble upon something that is not age appropriate. Instagram, with its heavy reliance on visual content, is particularly risky for young eyes. For young children, parents should monitor what their child is looking at on Instagram. Third party monitoring software, such as Bark, can be used to view what your child looks at, comments on, and likes on Instagram. Making your child’s Instagram account private also makes sure that they can monitor who wants to follow him/her.

Conclusion

Most importantly, encourage your children to always come to you if they experience anything or anyone uncomfortable online. Let them know they can always talk to you if Instagram leads them to feelings of insecurity or sadness

Learn more about Instagram with the VIP program

Logged in and still not seeing content? This course may not be part of
your membership plan. Click here to join.

Become login to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Join Our Next Live Parent Q&A Events

Nov
29

Combat Online Bullying: Supporting Positive Student Behaviors on Campus and at Home

Three times available on this date.

Register Here
Nov
30

Combat Online Bullying: Supporting Positive Student Behaviors on Campus and at Home

Two times available on this date.

Register Here
Nov
30

En Español: Combate el Acoso Cibernético: Apoyando Comportamientos Positivos de los Estudiantes en el Campus y en Casa

This event will be in Spanish audio and it will be the full translation of the English version

Regístrese Aquí

Become a Very Informed Parent (VIP) to get our social media suggestions in your email every Tuesday & Thursday.

Dotted arrow to right
Learn about our
"Very Informed Parent" 
VIP Program
Right arrow
Josh Ochs headshot Round

Schools & Districts: Partner with us to protect your community online

Our remote presentations (and website) teaches over a million students each year how to shine online. We teach students how their accounts can be used to create a portfolio of positive accomplishments that impress colleges and employers.

Partner with SmartSocial.com
Right arrow
SmartSocial podcast logo
Join Our Smart Social Podcast
each week on iTunes

With over 240 episodes, Josh Ochs interviews psychologists, therapists, counselors, teachers, and parents while showing you how to navigate social media to someday shine online.

Listen on: