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Social Media And Parental Guidance

Dec 21, 2007
Social media has significant potential for marketing, but it can also be used as a means of keeping tabs on your extended family members.

Today families are linking together in social media for the purpose of keeping in touch with a cyber focal point. The results are an unusual bit of family connection in an online environment.

Interestingly some parents are getting MySpace or FaceBook accounts to keep track of their teens and those they hang out with in a behind-the-scenes way.

Social media provides an unprecedented opportunity for parents to peek into the lives of their children. Your children will do better with this scenario if they know in advance that you will be monitoring their online adventures. This allows them to be more reserved online knowing you are checking in. It also allows you to read the candid replied of their peers and help your teen to learn how to handle situations they might not even think to bring up to you, but may be important in their personal development.

You will find your child's peers very open and honest in a social media environment. This can help you track trends that may not be helpful to your teen's outlook on life.

There was a time when parents could not really follow their children everywhere, but social media allows your child a sense of freedom with the bonus of allowing you to view their lives through a different lens. That doesn't mean you have to get on their case about every conversation they have, but when an appropriate time arrives you can help steer them in a better direction.

With online security being a problem for parents and threatening emails being sent in cyberspace it just makes sense for parents to be more active in monitoring their child's online activity. Most teens adjust easily enough and may not feel that your observation of their social media site is an overt intrusion and may even come to welcome your perspective. As with all rules there are exceptions and some children may not be happy with your online involvement.

Your concern, however, may not be as welcome by your teen's friends, but they too will get used to the idea that you will be a mostly silent observer.

The use of social media is a no cost means of understanding your child, monitoring their friends and stepping in when absolutely needed.

You may be surprised. Your teen may actually supply a backhanded compliment to you in a post - or it might just be flattery because they know you're reading.

Obviously the sooner you start this the easier it is for your child to accept the fact that their online lives are being monitored, but the alternative may be learning of problems too late and dealing with unexpected consequences instead of proactive parental guidance.

The use of social media may seem foreign to some parents, but it can be a perfect tool in maintaining a discrete distance while stepping up to the parenting plate when appropriate.
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