Social media can mean so many different things, but to most of us it is Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Those are the major players in the social media realm today. But every day, new platforms are being created with different rules and abilities. When our kids are fully grown, who knows if Facebook will still be around or if the social media landscape will look entirely different.
But as parents we need to worry about right now - how do you manage your kids' access to social media. Is it even something you need to worry about, or is it all just fun and games?
How do you handle social media and your kids?
My kids have already been exposed to social media. My 3 year old and 1 year old daughters have watched videos on YouTube (mostly the 3 year old). She likes to watch toy unboxing videos, Play-Dough and music videos. Usually she is right next to my husband or I, but sometimes we are not paying attention to what videos she clicks to.
I think that's one of the best parts for her - so many options when she wants to watch something different. However, sometimes the "related videos" can get a bit unrelated and borderline inappropriate. I have had to block a few channels because I don't want her to watch them.
Advice and Stories from Real Moms
Too many bad things
My children do not use social media, I personally don't feel they have any purpose on social media. There are way to many bad things that occur on social media that I would prefer to not expose them to, at least not til they are old enough. - Trista from Mamas Little Minions
After they are 13
My husband and I have agreed that the age our kids can be on social media is 13. My sons hates it, he's 8. But we have placed strict limitations on having social media. My 12 year old has an Instagram and we let her because she never posts about her face. She makes American Girl videos to post and share because she loves making video. That's all she's allowed to do and she's ok with that. Although I think I've created a monster... she's addicted to Instagram now! She can't go 5 minutes without looking at it to see if someone has either watched her videos or followed her. - Vina Kent from The Full Time Schoolhouse
Have rules and time limits
My kids are still fairly young, so there is not a lot of social media use in the house...YET. I am not crazy about it but I know unless we suddenly become Amish, it's gonna happen. There are rules and time limits that are set though. Tablets are taken away if they misbehave or don't listen. I suppose in a way it's good because it's a good bargaining chip. - Dana from Momma Didn't Say
So far, my kids only have Instagram, and it's a private account. I only let them share their account with their friends, and I follow their account too, so I know everything they are posting. I also don't allow selfies. - Lauren from Mom Home Guide
Have a "no tech" time
Technology zone. I have a NO tech time. I do not want my kids growing up in a world where they do not socialize verbally. They need to have time with one another and not just on phones. - Tahnee from Sincerely Rose
Give them a little time in the spotlight
My 6 and 7 year old are begging for their own YouTube Channel. Ever since I started making video blogs for Grounded & Surrounded, they want to be just like mommy. I have decided to give them a monthly spot on my blog page where they get to be my featured video of the week. They feel famous, and who knows....maybe people will like their videos more than mine. Beyond YouTube, my kids are not using social media at this time. - Sarah from Grounded and Surrounded
Thank you Moms!
Social media isn't going anywhere, so it's smart to think about how you would handle the situation before it becomes an issue as well as reevaluate your guidelines as it becomes more of a part of your kid's lives.
Let us know how you manage your kids access to social media. Is it completely off-limits, do you have certain rules, or maybe it's no big deal at your house - let us know what YOU do in the comments.
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