Parents, grab your designated comforting pillow (the one you use when watching a scary movie or the highlights of SONA 2017), and take a deep breath or two. We at Rubix understand that nothing is more important to you than your child’s safety and it seems that as society progresses, it becomes increasingly more difficult to keep them out of harms way.

With the numerous advancements in technology; namely social media, it’s no wonder you are all refilling those anti-anxiety prescriptions double-time.  That’s why we thought it would be appropriate to give you some tips on how to approach keeping your child safe on social media.

So while you roll your eyes and think that this is not necessary, more than 80% of teens online are registered to some form of social media platform. As such, whether you like it or not the chances are that your youngster will want to join a platform too, if they haven’t already.

This; as everything in life, has its benefits and detriments. The benefits are far more significant than the detriments, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t notable nor serious. The issue is that of misuse, and that’s when the topics of cyberbullying, peer pressure and oversharing step into the light of the naughty corner.

Now, for most parents the thought of having to navigate their child’s social media presence sends them into fits of cringing convulsions. That being said, do it with the right approach so that your child doesn’t feel like a prisoner of war being interrogated. That way, you as a parent are simultaneously setting a positive example to your child on social interaction, and teaching them how to use social media in a responsible and respectful manner. And as a result, put your own mind at ease.

It is highly recommended that you overcome these ‘fits’ and actually navigate your child’s social media presence. So here is how we think you should approach this process:

  1. Educate yourself – all social media platforms have different risks,
  2. Establish an age limit – “The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) prevents companies from collecting personal information about children under the age of 13 without their parents’ permission.”,
  3. Discuss the dangers and consequences­ – emphasize that the consequences to their online actions have the potential to impact their future and portray the danger signs so that they are more likely to consider the ramifications before acting,
  4. Keep electronic devices in common area – this way it is easier for you as a parent to keep an eye on your youngster’s social media usage,
  5. Set guidelines – establish an agreement with your child that instills positive social media habits (like setting a usage time limit). However, don’t make the rules too rigid – so that your child can feel empowered to make good decisions and not have to hide the bad ones.
  6. Check privacy settings regularly – social media websites and applications often update and as such one should make a habit of checking the privacy setting are as safe as can be.

And for those of you who feel like your trust should be earned OurPact is an app that can aid your control over the guidelines you have set for your youngster. It “is a simple parental control app that allows parents to limit screen time by blocking internet and app access.”

Rubix Shuttles & Transfers and all our staff are committed to keeping your child safe in all aspects of life. As some of our scholars are growing up and will be registering a social media account in the very near future, we feel that these guidelines will aid the effort for safety of our loved ones beyond the shuttle.