Updated: Dec 12, 2019
By Monica Rivera and Eleni Pacheco
The beginning of the year can offer some parents a welcome break from the chaos of spending 24 hours a day with their kids. It's important to remember, however, that while teachers and school staff do their best to watch out for students, parent supervision and monitoring is still #1 in ensuring the safety of your young one. Nowadays, young people have access to more information than ever - which means adults need to develop a whole new set of skills and tools to effectively guide and mentor them.
Tip # 1: Limit Phone Use:
Parents, you can absolutely set guidelines for your teens on how and when to use their smartphone. Teach your teens to only use their phones for a certain amount of time, and how to prioritize phone-use among other valuable activities. Most importantly, teach them that a phone is a tool and, like all great tools, comes with great responsibility.
Tip # 2: Educate your Children on Sharing Pictures
Does your child use Snapchat? Do they constantly send pictures? As parents, it is important to keep track of what your child is sharing on social media and other phone apps such as Instagram. The safest profile is a private profile – remind your teens to check their settings and make their location unknown on pictures and status updates. Regularly monitor the pictures your teen shares, as well as who is liking their pictures or who they are sending pictures to. This helps both you and your teen to be aware of online predators.
Tips # 3: Ask Questions and Meet Their Friends
Did you know that 91% of teens take selfies and post them to social media? Do you know all the people that like your teen's pictures? It’s important that as a parent you continue to communicate with your teen about who they interact with on social media – whether on open platforms such as Facebook or Tumblr or direct messaging and chat room apps like Kik and WhatsApp. It’s your right to check in with your teen about the people they are welcoming into their lives. Your teen may not like it, but simply remind them it’s your job to keep them safe.