As parents, there comes a day, whether we like it or not, where our children will ask to have their own smartphone, or will want to use the laptop to engage with social media and other internet websites. As the age where this happens continues to get younger, it is important to ask yourself these 5 important questions before allowing your children to engage with technology.
- How do you feel about strangers telling your children exactly how they feel about them? We as adults have all experienced some form of this on social media websites, and we hate it, don’t we? So why would we be okay with this type of treatment for our children? If we aren’t, it is important for us to be as ‘in-the-know’ as possible when it comes to which sites they are engaging with, what parental settings are in place, and who they are talking to at all times before we let them engage.
- Do your feelings get hurt with the use of social media websites? The likely answer is yes, of course. And do you find yourself comparing your life to the seemingly perfect lives of those you see on social media? Again, the answer is likely yes. This is a big one when it comes to our children engaging with social media. Their young minds don’t fully understand why certain things are said, and that most of what you see online is in fact, not real. Definitely something to keep in mind before we let them engage. How do we protect them from this?
- Your child can walk, but does that mean they can now drive a car? Motor function and brain maturity are two very different things, and use two very different parts of the brain. Our children may seem old enough to engage with social media, but their emotional maturity may not be on the same page. They are simply emotionally not ready to decipher between what hurts them and what helps them.