Setting Social Media Limits for your Pre Teens

Even for adults, social media can be extremely addicting. It seems very reasonable that parents would have concerns about how much time that their pre-teens are using this medium of communication. In fact, grades and performance may suffer due to overuse of social media, similar to spending too much time playing video games.

Social media, has in many ways, replaced telecommunications as the main form of communication. Pre-teens and teens are less likely to talk on the phone, than to chat, text, or spend time interacting with Facebook, MyYearbook, or other social networks. Pre-teens generally do not think about how social networking can affect their grades, performance in school and other activities, so setting limits is a great way to reward your child for his/her efforts in school, and provide access to a healthy social life.

Depending on how well your child does in school, you may want to start by limiting social media to 1-2 hours per day. This may also depend on how much television time that they use as well. Although pre-teens are generally very apt at multi-tasking and may do both at the same time.  It is very important to limit screen time of any kind for children, pre-teens, and teens.

Another stipulation may be that your child’s homework and chores must be done before using social media at all. It is much easier to have a pre-teen do these activities before using social networking, because once he/she is engaged, it is hard to motivate your child to do anything else. A schedule will help incorporate chore time, school work time, and social time. Many parents also choose to restrict social networking time during family time, such as game night or family dinner time. It is important for your child to interact with the family daily.

Priorities can be hard to instill in a pre-teen, but eventually, they will understand the importance of limiting social activities online. Social networking is a fun, easy way to connect with family and friends, and pre-teens are just learning the wonders of social media. It is fun, new, and exciting, and completely understandable how addictive it can be, especially to this age group. However, limits help pre-teens understand how to keep their priorities in order and not let social networking take over their life. It is an easy distraction, but can be a great way for your child to interact with the people he/she cares about.