Parenting Tips: What should I do if my kid wants a social media account?

It's nearly impossible to keep kids off the internet today. So why not turn it into a learning opportunity instead?

Letting kids have Instagram and Facebook accounts is a great way to teach them about digital citizenship. After all, isn't it better for them to make their social media mistakes with you as their wingman?

To make sure your kids foray into social media is a success, don't be shy to lay down a couple laws. Telling your kids a few rules up front can go a long way! 

4 Social Media Rules You Should Set:

1. Only parents can set-up accounts

You want your kids to understand that you are using social media together. So they can have Facebook and Instagram accounts — but only if you set them up and have the passwords.

2. Accounts must be private

Explain to your kids that it's not a contest to see how many followers they can get. 

3. Only follow/be followed by people you know

As a good rule of thumb, if that person shows up at your front door tomorrow, your kid should actually know who they are — and be willing to invite them into the house. If your kid wouldn't interact with someone in real life, they shouldn't interaction with them online.

4. Last, parents will monitor.

Make sure kids know that you will regularly check what they are posting and messaging, including their private messages and the comments they make. Tell them that if they wouldn't say it in front of you, they shouldn't say it online.

Parenting Tip: Set yourself up to stop online trouble before it starts.

Digital citizenship isn't an easy thing for kids to learn, but it's best for them to get experience with it as soon as possible. Yes, they will screw up. If you stay involved with their social media posting, you'll be able to help them learn from those mistakes.