7 ways to help your teen on social media

Teens on social media is like letting a ten year old child drive – well almost. The difference is most teens are unsupervised on social media and the ten year old driver wouldn’t do it without an adult in the vehicle.

Ask your teen how many social networks they are on.

My youngest is eleven, she is on four social networks. I know her passwords and check her privacy settings often.

My teen is fourteen and on six networks. They’re both aware that I monitor what they post.

Teens are at risk on social media and it is your job to protect, teach and help them.




Here are 7 ways to help your teen on social media

  • Create a social media policy setting up rules of good and bad behavior.
  • Teach teens to separate facts from drama (there is a lot of drama on social media).
  • Talk to your teen every day about what’s up on social media, car rides are great for this. Don’t talk just listen!
  • Follow, friend, like and circle them as your social network contact.
  • Set a good example yourself on your own profile and posts, tweets or shared content.
  • Know your teens privacy settings and take time to check them bi-weekly.
  • Learn a neat trick and share it with them such as how to post in English (pirate) or English (upside down) on Facebook.

I’ve heard someone say at a social event that they didn’t want to friend their teen on Facebook because they were afraid the teen would see what they were posting. It was heartbreaking.

I’ve heard many ask well how do you do that? Or the scary “they’ll be mad at me if I friend them” – I think the teen runs that household.

My kids both know that if I see something inappropriate I’ll speak up immediately. My eleven year old thinks I know the owner of the social network and can have their account deleted – I let her believe it without saying a word.  I take away all access to all technology for breaking any rules, with no exceptions. Time periods for rule breaking at our house range from days to weeks to months. It scares them to think they won’t be able to use any technology including cell phones, laptops, television, ipods at all. They’ve each experienced it and it only happened once for them.


Tricks you can use to monitor your teen

  •  Let your Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandma, close friends and family members your teen is on a social network and ask them to also friend, follow or circle them. Let them know about your social media policy. Tell your teen about your monitoring team.
  • Subscribe to your teens updates via text on Facebook read how here: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=116324615117911 the setting is under notifications.
  • Subscribe to their Twitter tweets via text (near the bottom of the page on the linked article) here: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169920-how-to-get-sms-notifications-for-tweets-and-activity#activity-notifications
  • Set up a Google alert with your teens nick name and city to email you when Google detects activity.
  • Tell your teens friends that you are watching your teen on social media.
  • Tell your teens friends parents that you monitor your child on social media and offer to share information with them.
  • Set up a free profile with your teens information at https://brandyourself.com/ It’s a free and premium service offering reputation management and alerts for reputation management.

My kids teachers know I monitor my children on social networks and I share tips with them all the time.

What tips do you have? Leave them in the reply comments below.


Social Media Management of Children

We must play a role in the social media management of our children. There is TMI (too much information) out there for us to not check our children’s profiles and to not know their passwords. I have taken on this challenge first hand, so far they’re still talking to me.


Perhaps you have heard of the “Please rob me” syndrome on twitter and Facebook where people post TMI about leaving for vacation, or the grocery store or to run an errand.  Criminals will use that information to know when you are not home, they will feed off opportunity.  Our children can fall victim to that desire to want to post every aspect of their daily life online, for all to see!  I am particularly concerned by this emerging generation who is de-sensitized to what they’re sharing about themselves.


Privacy settings are your friend.  I implore you all to log into your child’s profile and review the privacy settings, the more restrictive the better but your judgment should be based on boundaries you set, not your child.

As a person, especially a parent, I believe we need to draw a line for certain social on-line behavior, know what is expected and what is not.

  • Actively teach kids to be net-savvy, healthy paranoia is good, teach them about privacy settings.
  • Internet access is a privilege, not a right.  Set clear limits and expectations
  • Be involved in what they’re doing, be their friend on Facebook, get Facebook to text you status updates (I do) and follow their tweets and Youtube postings.  Until you are convinced that your child can demonstrate mature judgment, I don’t believe kids should have the right to internet privacy.

If you are a parent, do not procrastinate in fear of conflict with your family, deal with this sooner rather than later.  I offer special pricing to manage childrens social media presence, I understand that parents need to delegate.

What do you think about this issue concerning children and social media management?

Please leave a comment