Discussing Social Networking With Your Children

Teenagers use social networking for everything from planning parties and outings to talking about members of the opposite sex. They maintain their social lives online, track who’s seeing who, and network with other teens in real time – all without ever leaving their homes. It’s incredibly important for parents to know how social networking sites work, as well as how to manage accounts and profiles. This article will discuss the things you should do to handle social networking sites with your kids, without alienating them or pushing them away.

Ask as Many Questions as Necessary

More than likely, your kids know more than you do about social networking. This means that in order to keep them safe, you’re going to have to ask tons of questions. Ask them directly about what they do online, and ask them who their online friends are. Don’t automatically assume that they’re doing something harmful. Instead, take the time to show genuine interest in their online activities. Doing so is a good way to get them to open up to you. You may even be able to use Facebook or Twitter to network with colleagues or find your old friends from college – an added bonus to getting involved with your children’s online lives.

See Your Teenager’s Sites Through Their Eyes

By asking questions about the sites that your teen is using, you empower them. You let them see that you honestly care about what they’re up to on the internet, and you get to see what they’re doing online through their eyes. Ask your teenager to help you set up a MySpace page or other social networking profile and show you how to use it. Take the time to see their profile or page, and ask them to add you as a friend so that you can keep up with what’s going on in their lives.

Respect Your Teen’s Privacy as Much as Possible

Although it can be difficult to step back and allow your teenager some space, it’s important to do so. Invading your teenager’s space will only lead them to hide their online activities from you, and trust me, they’re capable of it. Instead, treat your teen with respect and avoid acting like you know everything. Instead, ask them questions and be open for discussion on the issues.

Teenagers are quick to detect insincere or fake conversations and dialogue, so work to have open and honest conversation with your kids. By investing the time to learn about social networking sites and how your kids are using them, you can ward off future issues.

Have a great day!