6 guidelines for parents helping their children navigate social media


Raise your hands if this has ever happened to you: You think you’ve got Facebook all figured out, and your child laughs at you and says, “Facebook is for old people!”

It can be difficult for parents to figure out social media sometimes.

One minute your kids are using Instagram, the next minute it’s ASKfm, then it’s Sayat.me. You might be tempted to join all these new social media platforms to keep up with your child, but let’s be honest – you’re never going to use it again after signing up if your friends aren’t on it. And joining a social media platform just to keep tabs on your child is not worth the hassle, especially since it communicates that you don’t trust your child.

So, here are some guidelines for managing your child's social media activities. It’ll make life easier for both parent and child.

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1. Children may not want to connect with their parents on social media

First and foremost, parents should acknowledge that children may not want to “friend” them on social networks. Just as parents have topics they don’t want to discuss with children, children have matters they don’t want to talk to their parents about. True, it’s a rejection, but it’s about letting your children have their own space.

Some children might willingly connect with their friends’ parents on social media, but not their own. It’s a strange kind of logic, but again it boils down to having a personal, private domain. If your child doesn’t want to be “friends”, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be your child in real life.

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2. Be graceful and accepting if your child does not want to be your social media “friend”