Social Media Setting Limits for Social Media Pre Teens

Social Media has gained access into almost every American home.  Facebook and My Yearbook are growing in popularity.  Even gaming systems allow strangers to come into your home via the web.Not only are adults engrossed with this phenomenon, but pre-teens and teens live, eat, and breathe with everything that is built around these social media/gaming networks. They are more involved in their friends lives than they are of their own family.  Their grades suffer at the expense of keeping up with the girl or boy down the street.  Friendships are put at risk because of something someone has posted.  How do you protect your pre-teen from all the negativity that emcompasses these social media networks?

Accessibility

Most pre-teens have a computer or gaming system in their room.  This allows children to surf the internet to inappropriate sites.  It allows your child to become targets for predators and targets for ridicule and bullying.  Place your computer in a room that is accessible by anyone with the screen where it can be seen by anyone.  Set parental controls on the computer.  Monitor the history.  Know log-ins and passwords and do random checks of any social media sites your child may visit on a regular basis.

Time Limits

Social Media and games can be very addicting.  You can find yourself so wrapped up in these that time will get away from you.  Before you know it, hours have passed and things you meant to do have taken a back seat.  After homework and chores have been completed, allow your child some time for social media and/or video games.  The amount of time you give your child depends on the maturity level of your child and what you, as a parent, are willing to allow. 

You may choose not to allow your child access to any social media networks or gaming systems.  You may choose to allow your child access to the internet for homework and research only.  Be prepared to hear arguements from your child but stand your ground.  Instead of allowing time for social media networking and gaming, set aside some time for a board game or a walk around the block.  Visit the library to check out a book and set aside some time for quiet reading. 

Whatever you decide, there must be some limits set aside for social media.  By doing so, you are teaching your child that you care about them and their safety and the person he/she may become from such exposure.