Get to know the tools
Parents are strongly encouraged to get to know the platforms and applications that their child is regularly interacting with online. The educational ones and the not-so-educational ones. Be sure to know how the applications work, the content and trends, and what the purpose of that each particular tool is. Don’t be afraid to monitor posted content and ask questions to better understand how a particular feature works.
Be aware of screen time
Setting limits and boundaries around screen time and device use is beneficial to your child’s mental and physical well being. It is recommended for students and children to avoid screen time for at least one hour before it is time to begin their bedtime routine. The brain needs time to shut down from the lights and lower the stimulation level. Also, the greater the access to non-educational screen time, the more risk of unwanted attention, information, and negative digital interactions.
Protect personal information
Have regular and ongoing conversations with your child about what is appropriate to share online and what is not. Any personal information such as last names, a location, phone numbers, and emails should not be shared at any time-despite any insistence by others! Photos and images should be added with discretion and certainly with the approval of a guardian and any other parties involved.
Encourage critical thinking
Teach your child to think critically about the digital world around them. What is the intention behind a particular post? Is every piece of social media content they see both true and accurate? Encourage your child to think of alternate perspectives and opinions to a digital story, post, or image. Help your child to understand that the digital world is not something to compare themselves to, and that success does not always fall on the quantifiable likes and followers.
Be selective with your digital space
Encourage your child that a few close digital friends are better than thousands of artificial or superficial ones. Your student or child should only be adding friends to their social media platforms or applications that they are already familiar with in real life. Students and children should never add a profile that they do not recognize and should always exercise caution when adding others to their digital space. Whenever possible, social media and educational accounts should be private to the outside world.