A total of 94% of teens go online daily. These teens have access to more than one social media platform; these are Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
These same kids also have a tendency of blocking their parents on social media platforms, a trend not only on kids but also on adults.
Some of the questions we ask ourselves when we post, like or comment to anything online is what will our parents or other people think, what would they say? This are some of the things that always limit us from being free and also limit our children from being free with us thus ending up blocking us.
When kids block their parents from their social media accounts, parents have less access to their lives online and it gets difficult monitoring their daily activities online. Does this mean that as a parent you are easily losing your kids and the relationship between parents and kids weaken?
As a parent or a guardian how can you be able to keep an eye on your kids online?
Leading by example: kids tend to copy what they see their elders doing. If you want your children to practice healthier internet habits, you’ll have to do it yourself too. That means occasionally putting the phone down. Your child may still kick off about giving up their smartphone but at least you can put it down to family rules.
Talk to your kids: It sounds simple and obvious, but this is the most important of all weapons in the battle to keep your children safe online. Encourage them to talk to you if they feel uncomfortable about something or someone they encounter online. Make sure they are aware of the risks of giving out too much personal information to strangers. They may be old enough to realise that not everyone is who they say they are online, but still they may not understand the real dangers.
Monitoring: Take charge and look at how often your child is online. Does he or she spend the whole day glued on a screen? How often do they go out and interact with other kids? Maybe all they are looking for is some kind of comfort and someone to interact with, someone who knows nothing about them.
Create an environment where you kids can talk to you about anything and everything. Show them that they are free to tell you what they are going through without feeling like they are the only ones going through that phase of life. Most kids have difficulty talking to their parents because they are afraid of the response and reaction that will be reciprocated to them. Sometimes it’s all because of the fear.
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