Children today are growing up in a society that depends heavily on technology, and parents are faced with the question of when is the appropriate time to allow their child to have a cellphone and use social media. Ronna Glickman, social media speaker and consultant, discusses how to introduce your child to social media and how to use technology responsibly.
On why it’s important for parents to talk to their children about cellphone and technology use
The reason it is important to talk to their children about cellphone and technology use is because they are children. Until they are 18, the parents are legally responsible for their health and welfare. In order to do this, they need to keep the children safe with technology. The reason is because it can come back to bite them if their child does something that is immoral or illegal online.
The child needs to help pay for it (cellphone). The child needs to be responsible by giving the parent the cellphone at night to be plugged in. All passwords and limitations on how long they can use the cellphone for must be known to the parents because even the best, well behaved and most trustworthy kids have that teenage brain. That brain is still wired to try things.
On what is the best age to allow a child to have a social media account
It goes by trust, accountability and maturity. So, if I really trust my child, then it’s because he or she has proven that by their grades and in their character.
If they are not 13, they should not be getting a social media account because you’re teaching your child to lie about their age, which can come back to haunt them when they are older. Anyone can go back and see their digital footprint. The parents really need to get Spyware and find out exactly what their kids are saying and doing online. It’s just watching what you’re doing and knowing every single keystroke you make is out there forever.
On what parents can do to ensure their child’s safety while they are online
The first thing is understanding that Spyware will allow them to see everything their child is doing. The second thing is to show real life articles where kids are lured out of their homes by either sex traffickers or somebody that has groomed them and wants to meet them for one reason or another.
I am all for the cellphone and social media safety contract. It’s a wonderful life skill because you’re going to explain what a contract is, and you’re going to go over it with your child. It will say things like the cellphone will be charged in my room. You will tell me if you’re frightened or if somebody contacts you and you’re uncomfortable with any situation. If I feel that you are unsafe or you have broken the rules we have come up with, I have the right to take your phone or device away by signing this contract.
Ronna Glickman is the founder of Social Media Inc. and can be found at socialmediasafety.education.