As a child of the 80’s / 90’s, I was raised on TV, books and the outdoors. Eventually the computer; but NOT social media.
So as a parent raising a child in the era of Social Media, it is incredibly scary; especially after what I’ve seen on here.
However, I soon found out that although the sign up age is 13, there are kids as young as 5/6 on there; and they can be nasty.
Not adult-level nasty, but kid nasty. It’s actually incredibly sad to see.
Do these kids’ parents know they’re online saying this stuff? Do they know that kids are watching TikTok and there’s a lot of inappropriate stuff on there?
As a teenager plagued by bullies, it scares the shit out of me knowing that social media just makes it a thousand times worse.
Do you know what your child is doing online? Are you letting your child go online?
So far, my kids watch YouTube Kids, and they play Minecraft. The only reason they play Minecraft is because I played it first to make sure it was ok. The only way they can play it is single player (so no chatting to others online).
And as I’m all too aware of what goes online, they won’t be having access to them for a very long time.
I need to teach them to deal with this stuff first. I need to teach them so so much, before unleashing it on them.
That’s my responsibility as a parent, and a bit of a scary one at that.
Because it means I need to actually use these things. Like I said above, I played Minecraft first before I let my kids even think they were allowed to do it. I’m also on TikTok for that very same reason, although at this point I am in love with it from a “it’s funny” stand point. No way I’ll be letting my kids on there though.
A lot of people may roll their eyes and say “you can’t stop your child from going on social media”, well all I have to say is “WATCH ME”.
I’m their parent and I ultimately have control over what they do. Sure they might feel peer pressure to have social media, but until (like I said above) I feel I have equipped them with the knowledge to deal with stuff online, then they’re not going to be on it.
I plan on having an open and honest conversation with them about the whole thing – including what I’ve learned.
My kids aren’t idiots, but they’re also incredibly sensitive and caring children. I would hate for that to be ruined by someone online.
Also, a few people have already said to me “but you’re online all the time, so you’re already setting an example”. I’ve been on online solidly for a minimum of 5 years now. I mean, obviously not ALL the time, but a decent chunk of it. For my job. At no point during this time have my children ever asked me to do what I’m doing.
They don’t care. They care more about what their friends are doing.
So for now, they’re staying off line.
What about you? What do your kids do? Do you have any rules?
You can follow me online to listen to my rants: Instagram @happymumhappychild