As parents and caregivers, it’s important to communicate with your children about social media safety. The more you know and are aware about social media, you can better educate your children and set ground rules to ensure everybody in your household is using social media safely and responsibly. This is especially important as children head back to school and are seeing their friends again in-person.

Here are five tips to share with your children:

  1. Review Before You Post: Regardless of the purpose of the content or who they are trying to reach, ask them to consider whether the post could offend someone. What may be funny or entertaining to one person, may be hurtful to someone else.
  2. Think Before You Reshare: Teach kids where they can find trusted resources and not to share from accounts that may spread incorrect or hurtful information.
  3. Consider Privacy: It is important for kids to know that once something is shared on the internet, they cannot undo it. That means they lose all rights to their own privacy and they forfeit the rights of other people tagged in their posts or featured in their photos or videos.
  4. Be an Advocate: If children see something offensive online, encourage them to take action. Teens can use tools provided by social media channels, while younger children should be instructed to talk to a trusted adult who can report the content. Simply ignoring the content is not a safe alternative and should be discouraged.
  5. Advice on Monitoring: Many parents choose to occasionally monitor social media accounts and keep the password so they can log in to check activity. This is appropriate throughout childhood and adolescence. At minimum, parents can choose to have their own social media accounts and insist that they are connected with their children to see what is being posted or shared. The more active and informed parents are, the more guidance they can give their children.