You have probably noticed the amount of time that your teenager spends on their smart phone or computer. Adolescents send texts, post pictures on Facebook and Instagram, use Twitter, watch videos on YouTube, play online games etc. These are ways to communicate with their friends, make new friends, and keep themselves updated and informed. However, it is important that you get information about the technologies and social media that your children use in order to understand what they do and to be able to regulate their usage.
Firstly, it is important to set up computers in a common area so that you can monitor your child’s online activities. It is also recommended that you set up ground rules concerning internet usage in order to prevent your teenagers from becoming dependent on social media. If you suspect your child is viewing suspicious websites or you find they spend too much time on the internet, you can install a parental control program on their computer. You should then advise your child that you are monitoring their internet usage. Develop an interest in the people your child is meeting online in order to cultivate trust and remind them it is easy to impersonate someone else over the internet. If they want to meet someone, tell them it will be safer to meet them while accompanied by an adult. You should also inform them that any information they publish on the internet will be stored indefinitely, so they should be careful as to what they post. If they are texting friends, remind them they should be careful when sharing or receiving information with someone they have not known for a long time.