The internet is full of exciting opportunities to learn, play games, have fun, and connect with friends and family. But it can easily take a toll on your teen’s mental health.
Internet safety courses often focus on stranger danger, making sure young people know that they should not give out personal details online or arrange to meet someone they don’t know in. anybody.
But are we teaching our kids how to get the most out of our favorite apps? Likewise, what is acceptable Internet behavior and what is absolutely not?
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Young people of school age and under are under enormous pressure to have social media. In particular TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. And while most platforms don’t allow accounts for people under 13, most kids have pages long before that.
So in addition to the usual safety info, here are 10 more things to discuss with your kids to help them get the most out of their internet use.
1. Lead by example
If you use social media to abuse strangers when you are feeling sad, you will have an extraordinarily different experience than someone using them to connect with genuine people who share their interests and generate work.
And however you choose to use the internet, chances are your youngster will follow suit.
2. Emphasize the weight of their words
Make sure your kids understand that whatever is posted IS permanent and that their words carry HUGE weight.
Sweet phrases like “I hate the idea of someone staying awake at night because of something mean you said”. And really poke it until they understand that they should never post anything that they wouldn’t want to read to them by their parents, a teacher, or a judge.
3. Show them the right things
Talk openly about your experience with particular apps. Tell them about the exciting connections you’ve made, the fabulous new friends you’ve made, and the work you’ve generated.
4. Talk openly about bad things
Discuss the pressure you feel consuming only “perfect” homes, bodies, and lifestyles online.
Teach them to personalize the content they consume by not following any page that makes them uncomfortable or does not serve them. Even if they have already enjoyed the content or know the creator personally.
A follow-up is not a contract!
5. Prepare them for negativity
Rather than raising our young people to believe that all interactions they have should be positive, we can explain to them that anyone who creates anything in this world – art in all its forms – is likely to experience negative responses from people who have engaged in misunderstanding. them.
And above all, the people who don’t create anything. They always have the biggest and strongest opinions.
6. Be genuine and fearless
Whether they have a love for drawing, macrame, or a knack for memes, encourage your youngsters to share their art with the world without fear! So that people who get it can enjoy it.
7. Scroll to
Teach them to just scroll through things that are not of interest to them, rather than leaving a negative comment that could constitute abuse. It is a huge waste of energy for all parties to engage in an Internet dispute. Negativity of any kind only screams “I’m miserable.”
8. Your page is your space
If someone leaves a negative comment, you can delete it. This is YOUR space and no one is allowed to come in and abuse you.
If someone would walk up to your living room window and scream that you’re ugly and stupid… you’d think they’re crazy, right? So why do we let the insane comments of internet bullies determine our worth?
Buttons strangers press on their phones don’t control your feelings!
9. Don’t take it at face value
Just because someone claims to be an expert at YouTube University doesn’t mean they are credible.
Teach your young people to dig deep and search for information correctly, using trusted websites, publications and journals.
10. Remember that you can find anything you want to believe on the Internet.
If you want to believe the earth is flat, there is a page for it. Any thought you have can be reinforced with a simple Google search.
The purpose of Google is to give you the information you are looking for and to give you what you want. Don’t check if it’s true or not first.
Take it all with a pinch of salt.
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