I sat down with Dawn a few months ago. One of the first things she said was, "You wouldn’t let your child go to Minneapolis with friends overnight without talking them to about rules. Why wouldn't you talk to your kids about the rules and your expectations around social media." I thought this was a really good point. She's had plenty of conversations about social media and technology with her kids (ages 14, 12). Read on to learn some of her tips and tricks!
What are some tools that your family uses?
Our Pact – is a control for the wifi, which apps they can use, etc. Times they can use the technology.
Parents can control Our Pact right within Apple. We check every app and discuss anything new that is downloaded. Another family rule is that the kids can charge their phones in their room at night but they are only allowed certain apps -- they don't have full access to everything from their rooms.
What social media platforms do YOU use?
Facebook and Facebook Groups. Before there was Facebook I followed blogs for cooking, etc.
Do you talk to your kids on social media at all?
No, there is no need to, they have text and phones. They use those avenues for communicating with me.
Where do you get your news?
Facebook and email. I follow the same news organizations that I subscribe to.
What do you talk to your kids about when talking about social media?
Hazards and possible pitfalls. Conversations happen a couple times per week between us all. I ask them what do you see? What do people say?
What social media platforms are your children on?
Instagram is the only platform that kids are on. Names are not attached to the handles for safety purposes.
What positive connections have been made on social media for you and your kids?
The ability for my son to contact his friends in Finland. We've all loved it. They also connect with their cousins. Staying connected with long-distance relationships has been great.
What advice do you have for other parents?
Use the available parental controls and monitor. Children didn’t have access to this kind of privacy 50 years ago – privacy is a modern idea. There is no reason parents shouldn't be monitoring and controlling access. Don’t worry about being the mean parent – embrace it – it means you’re a caring parent.