Monitoring your teen’s social media use can be daunting and confusing as a parent. With so many apps and platforms available, it’s hard to know where to start. But, with the right strategies and tools, you can help ensure your child’s safety online and make sure they are using social media responsibly.
1. Set Rules & Expectations
The most important step in monitoring your teen’s social media use is having clear rules and expectations set ahead of time. Discuss what type of content is acceptable (e.g., no profanity or inappropriate images) and how much time they should spend on their devices daily. Consider setting limits on which apps they can access or putting restrictions on certain websites. This will give you more control over their activity, allowing you to monitor their usage more easily.
2. Stay Up-to-Date
It is also important to stay up-to-date with the latest apps and trends popular among teens. Some of these apps may not have age restrictions or parental controls built-in, making them potentially dangerous for young users. Make sure you research any new apps before allowing your teen to download them onto their device(s). Additionally, talk to them about any recent trends they may be seeing on social media—this will help you better understand what type of content they are exposed to online, as well as keep an eye out for any potential red flags or warning signs something might be wrong.
3. Use Parental Control Software
In addition to setting rules and expectations, another great way to monitor your teen’s social media use is by using parental control software like FamilyTime or Kaspersky SafeKids. These programs provide additional layers of security and allow parents to keep track of their child’s activity on all devices in real-time—including text messages, emails, app downloads, etc.—providing more peace of mind regarding online safety.
Monitoring your teenager’s social media use doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the right steps ahead of time. Be sure to set clear rules and expectations for appropriate behavior online, stay up-to-date with the latest trends, and consider using parental control software for added protection against cyberbullying or other dangers lurking in cyberspace.
By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your child is safe while still enjoying all the benefits of having an active presence on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.
Marc Lehman is an outpatient Family Therapist from Avon, CT, who specializes in working with teens and young adults both in high school and college. With over 20 years of experience as a marriage and family therapist, Marc has worked with a broad spectrum of teens and their families, narrowing in on his passion for working with college students over time. Marc is an interactive, solution-focused therapist. His therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. He integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, Marc works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.