Children can be tough with each other – also online. And what do you do as a parent if your child is either being bullied on social media – or you realize that it is your child who is writing nasty things to others?
Talk to your child about how to write to others how to comment on others’ updates, and how it’s easier to misunderstand each other in an online message than if they are facing each other.
Talk about how to be a good friend in the physical world and on social media.
Talk about the difference between a private and a public profile.
Talk about what pictures to use as profile pictures, which pictures are good to share, who can see the pictures and what context in which they can be included in. Also consider which images of your child you share on social media, and if your child likes them or not.
Talk about not to share pictures of others without having permission from them.
Discuss how to solve conflicts that might arise on social media.
Discuss what information not to share on social profiles – for example, full name and address, social security numbers, phone numbers or passwords to profiles on social media.
Talk to your child about coming to you or another adult that your child trusts if the child is experiencing anything unpleasant or inappropriate online.
Explain to your child that he/she can always come to you with questions, doubts and uncertainties and let your child see you as a good and safe conversation partner – even if your child has done something that he/she regrets. Tell them that one can easily make mistakes or do something that they afterwards find out was stupid, and if that happens, then you are there to help.
Examine the official guidelines for age limits on social media where your child would like to have a profile. If you choose not to follow the official guidelines, consider what guidelines your child should have to be on them – for example, that he/she is only friends with someone who they know, that they have to have a private profile and emphasize that passwords must be protected at all times.