There are days when your phone, as a parent, was only your property. Children knew that too well. However, those days are no more. While this is the case, parents ought to remember that the use of social media by children has got many impacts.
Well, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA”) states that children under thirteen should have limited access into technology. However, as long as the child is using your phone, there’ll be no limits of what they can access. They can, therefore, watch pornography while you are busy cooking, chat and plan immoral things with children of the opposite sex, and join groups of drug users.
What’s more? Some parents are even buying mobile phones for their teenage children.
This may cause your child to feel like they are poor. Some might insist that you buy them a mobile phone, too.
So, what should you, as a parent, do?
Install Monitoring Apps
Well, the best way to ensure that you are watching how your children are using social media on their phones is by installing a monitoring app.
Well, you are dealing with children who are sharp-minded and they will try to be smarter than you. How?
Children ensure that they delete every conversation they feel would cause trouble with you as a parent if you bumped on it. They’ll also delete pornography videos after watching them to show you how “Holy than thou” they are.
Don’t be deceived. Don’t trust them, too, much either. Installing one of the monitoring apps will help ensure that use of social media by children won’t ruin their future-and it is necessary!
Don’t shy, tell them the truth!
We are still struggling with the fact that guiding and counseling children is not only for teachers but for parents, too. Unfortunately, most parents are too shy to hold a chat with their children. Worst still, they won’t concern themselves with how their children make use of social media.
While all this is going on, teachers have no spare time for guidance and counseling.
As a parent, you need to create time and talk with your children about the dangers of using social media. Let them know how they should make use the social media. You’ll not only shape their future but also save them from needless troubles.
At times, give them real life examples.
This is what we are saying. In case they know of cases where use of social media by children led to teenage pregnancies, use of drugs and corrupt morals, explain that they, too, will go through the same if they don’t make proper use of their phones, iPad, laptops, and cyber.
Let them know the consequences of every act they may try to involve themselves in. Do this with lots of love and get them a chance to say anything they may want to say or ask.
At times, being away from home is better. Look for a good environment, sit down with them and talk. Yes, just talk and shy not. One day; you’ll be glad you did that.
Set Time Limits on the Use of Social Media by Children
Think about it, some marriages collapse due to the use of social media. And while that is true, we know that those in marriage are mature people. However, their inability to set limits on social media usage causes issues in their marriage. How much more will the use of social media by children cause problems. See, children have lots of time since they have nothing much to do.
That means that they’ll spend almost all the day and the better part of the night chatting with friends and scrolling through page after another on social media.
Worst is that, teenagers are growing and the changes in their bodies may cause them to want to watch pornography. What they see in those videos remains with them. When they meet other teens of the opposite sex, they feel stirred-up to try out what they saw.
Worst is that the videos do not explain the dangers of the sexual acts they expose. So, children just practice those acts and they get into trouble later. How? We all know that unprotected sexual intercourse causes teenage pregnancies and infection of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. As a result, the child is kicked out of school, mocked by other teens and is rejected by the society and parents.
In return, the child suffers from depression which might cause a miscarriage (for female teenagers). Also, the child might consider committing suicide. This is why, as a parent, you need to act fast and set limits of use of social media by children.
Teach them to prioritize things
Did you know that mobile phones are some of the assets children make use of when they wake up in the morning? Also, teens who own phones make use of them till late night hours. That will not only cause health issues associated with long use of social media, but it may make them wake up late.
They may also feel weary to be able to do home duties, which may be the start of trouble between them and their parents.
Also, some parents have complained that use of social media by children has caused their children to have trouble taking meals.
It is, therefore, necessary as a parent, to ensure that you teach children to prioritize important things in life. We don’t mean that social media is not good. No, what we mean is that there are priorities in life and social media is definitely not one of them not unless they are using it to make a living!
Unfortunately, most teens are still under the care of parents. Hence, use of social media by children to make money is not permissible.
Train them to be responsible about their actions
Most times, we also feel irritated and the need to fight back can be overwhelming. Children are no different. You see, use of social media by children can cause every kind of a feeling-good and bad. See, not everyone loves your children and at times, some people/teenagers might feel unhappy with your children for whatever reasons. In return, there might be every kind of a comment against your children. For example, your children might be insulted, bulled, or threatened.
The child might feel angry or rejected. The need to fight back could be high. However, there might be dire consequences for insulting the other child or bullying them, too.
As a parent, therefore, train your child to be responsible enough. Let them know why they need not fight back. Make them understand that such people are not worth associating with and that they should block them ASAP!
Help them know that they are above such stuff and they should prove that by not concerning themselves with such comments and reactions by their social media friends.
Keep them Busy
There’s a saying, “An idol mind is the workshop of the devil.” All of the above ways should be implemented by every parent who wants to ensure that the use of social media by children won’t ruin their morals. However, you need to know that as much as that is a great move, idol minds are great workshops of the devil.
What that means is that children, when they are idol for too long, starts thinking evil things that may lead to implanting them when a chance pops-up.
However, when the children are busy, their minds, too, get occupied and time to think dirty stuff is no longer available.
So, how do you ensure that your children are busy?
Simple. Assign them home duties like cleaning the house, washing utensils, keeping the house in order, clearing bushes in your home compound, and the like.
Additionally, when schools close, there may be trips organized by their schools and churches. Allow them to go and see the world. It means a lot. And since this time they will have a lot to see and do, they definitely won’t have enough time for social media in case they have access to it.
The Parting Point
It is up to you now as a parent. Don’t leave it all to teachers and close relatives. Actually, you are more close to your children than anyone else. More so, if your children ruin their future because of immoral behaviors attributed to social media, you too, will suffer the consequences-either directly or indirectly. That’s for sure.
So, to ensure that the use of social media by children won’t make you or your children regret at any one time in life; practice each of the things we have discussed in this article.