One of the most frequent questions we get from parents is, “When should I let my child start using social media?” The very apps that children are asking for have answers in their age restrictions. They came up with those ages for a reason. But, because of peer pressure—“everyone else is already doing it”—kind of pressure, they and we give in.
I’m not sure the right age. I read recently that we always want to pay attention to the 3 c’s—context (why they want it), content (what it is), and your particular child. The last one we specifically need to attend to. Is your child ready?
We use Technology Tuesdays to try to provide you with lots of resources, from actual contracts to accompany gadgets or social media apps to questions of how to talk about those very opportunities with kids. Here’s another one to think about.
Is your child ready? Have you been able to talk to him or her about all that’s out there and all they’ll be exposed to? We can’t turn the tide on social media. It’s here…and, at least for the next week till we move onto something more intense, more immediate, and maybe less personal, it’s here to stay. We say often you don’t want to be the last parent to allow your child the privileges they’re asking for, but you also don’t want to be the first. Parent in good, safe, wise company, so that you have other like-minded parents who are stepping into these worlds at the same time. Hold off as long as you can. Ask questions. Talk to your kids. Talk to other parents. Do your own homework. Download your own apps. And know the three c’s well—your child being the very most important of those.
And here’s a little more information on age restrictions for social media and why.