Today, almost every child is either familiar or an avid user of various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Youngsters spend a large amount of their time surfing social media sites for different reasons. Although children benefit in many ways by being active on social media, being online also exposes them certain ‘hidden’ dangers. According to a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, "They can find themselves on sites and in situations that are not age-appropriate, and research suggests that the content of some social media sites can influence youth to engage in risky behaviors. In addition, social media provides venues for cyberbullying and sexting, among other dangers."
In such a situation, how can you, as a parent, help your child understand the risks and devise ways to prepare her to stay safe online?
To begin with, monitor the sites your child frequents to make sure that she is not exposing herself to violence or adult content. Create ground rules. Also keep an eye on the pictures your child posts online. Internetmatters.org advises parents to ask their children what they are posting online, if they are sharing their location unintentionally and showing them how to report offensive comments.
The best thing to do is to set an example by following proper Internet etiquette yourself.
There is no denying that social media is now an inseparable part of our lives. So, parents need to teach their children its many benefits and dangers. To know more about this topic, flip through the pages of this ClipBook.
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