5 social media tips for parents and teachers

It’s challenging for parents and teachers to keep up to date with the ever changing world of social media. Inspired by the Children’s Commissoner #Digital5ADay campaign we’ve come up with some easy to follow tips to help…

1. Stick to the legal age limit

Most social media platforms have a legal age limit of 13+. To keep up to date, the NSPCC has a great website called NetAware. You type in the name of the social media platform you are interested in and it will tell you the legal age and details about their service.

So what is the problem with your child being on social media before they are 13 (the legal age limit for most social media)? There are various safety reasons, and it’s also worth thinking about what they will see if they lie?

Consider this…. if an 8 year old child signs up to a social media account, when they’re 13 they will be seeing content and advertising that is for an 18-year-old. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

An alternative safer social media platform such as https://bubble.school/ is a good option for younger children.

2. Keep up to date and stay involved

Social media isn’t going away any time soon! We appreciate that there are still some people who aren’t on social media, but what if your child wants to be?

If you don’t know how social media works, how can you support your children? One parent said she was unaware of the direct messaging functionality on Instagram. So she was missing how her child was communicating with her friends.

Snapchat’s Snapmaps caused concerns for parents, so knowing how to set it to “Ghost Mode” is essential. Many social media platforms have Geolocation functionality. You may want to consider turning this off as well.

Follow this link to set Snapchat to Ghost Mode.

We think knowledge is power, our resources empower parents, teachers and children. They help them to understand the digital world around them. Follow our Facebook page where we share the most up to date content on the changes to social media. We can also answer any questions you might have via our page or by email.

3. Communicate with your children

Agree up front that you will have an open and honest dialogue about their activity on social media. If they talk to you, then it will be easier to support them.

Also, who do you want them to connect with online? Only friends and family? Check and agree with who they are connecting with.

Chat to them about what they are seeing, explain what an advert is or a sponsored post. Show how they are being advertised to on the different platforms. Use our parent guide to help explain to them how Vloggers and influencers are paid to endorse products.

Talk to them about how many images are edited and air brushed to look a certain way. Our new film, the Boys’ Biggest Conversation, explains it all…

Here’s the link to the film and our Body Image & Advertising resources.

4. Be safe

All of our lessons and guides list where we think the best sources of e-safety information are for schools and parents. Also, like our Facebook page for the latest news on the subject.

In addition to NetAware, the NSPCC has a campaign called Share Aware, which offers advice on how to keep young people safe online.


5. Don’t focus on the negative!

It’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of social media – but there are many positives too. New research is proving that good things can happen when kids connect, share and learn online.

Think about how many amazing things are achieved through us being socially connected.

For more information download our FREE parent guide on social media and digital advertising.

Written by Ruth Gilbey