When it comes to learning responsible social media and internet use, kids are best guided by observing positive behaviors. It’s important to model positive behavior and set a good example online because kids will witness adults using devices long before they ever get access to one.
Digital safety statistics
- Only 10% of parents with children under 10 have talked about appropriate online behavior and threats
- 21% of parents admit that relationships with their children have been damaged as a result of them being seen in a compromising situation on social media
Setting a good example online in the news
Parents can set a good example for [students] by being careful about what photos they post. –The Wall Street Journal
Parents who worry about their children constantly staring at their smartphones should set an example by not using their own devices so often. –Independent
Don’t gossip on social media
The best way parents can encourage students to avoid online gossip, is to avoid partaking in it themselves. Parents should teach students that manners matter offline, online and on social media.
Always be learning
It’s very natural for parents to say “I’m not a tech person”. However, it’s important that parents take the time to get on the devices, apps, networks, games, and online activities their children partake in. By “hanging out where your kids are” you will better be able to ensure your kids are safe online.
Put your best foot forward online
For students to shine online, it’s important that they put their best foot forward. Parents can model this behavior by ensuring that everything they post is a positive representation of themselves.
Vent in a way that’s private
It’s healthy for students to vent when they’re frustrated. A great way to encourage children to avoid using social media to vent is to set an example. Teach kids to reach out via text message, talk to someone in person or call a friend when they want to vent.
Search for yourself online
A great way for students to monitor their online footprint is to routinely Google themselves to see what search results come up. If students see their parents searching for themselves online (and have a dialog about why it’s important), then it may encourage them to do the same.
Take photos in a classy way
It’s important for parents to be aware of the photos they are posting, especially if they are group photos. Before posting any picture on social media, parents should ask themselves if this picture is something they would want their kids, friends, and their employer to see.
Don’t waste time on anonymous apps
Anonymous apps don’t help to build a positive online footprint. Parents should avoid using anonymous apps since it will entice students to spend time on these apps, as opposed to apps that could improve their Google results.