Advice for Parents on the Use of Social Media

Important message about children’s safe use and parental responsibility

We have an increasing number of parents raising concerns about children’s inappropriate use of mobile phones and other forms of social media messaging and usage.

When used correctly social media has many benefits. When used incorrectly social media can cause upset and anxiety for adults and for children. Research says that children can be affected in many ways – they feel unhappy, vulnerable, left out, bullied, can’t sleep and lose confidence.

This is clearly something that we all want to protect our children from. Incorrect or inappropriate use is very often texting on mobile phones to individuals through group chats. We talk often about this in school but it remains the responsibility of ALL parents to manage and monitor their child’s usage of mobile phones and wider internet usage.

Many sites have age restrictions; eg facebook, you tube, Instagram, snap chat, - this is to prohibit and ultimately safeguard primary school children from having their own authorised use.

Often peer pressure persuades children that they must have a mobile phone “because everyone else has” OR to join a social network group. This pressure can equally persuade parents to buy children a mobile phone for their child or children. OR to overlook age restrictions on sites. As parents it is entirely appropriate to say “no”. If your child does have a phone (or i pad or tablet or lap top) some simple but important safeguarding messages are:

 Set guidelines for when your child has use of their phone or device and what they can use it for

 check usage and messages for appropriateness

 restrict access to certain sites

 age restrictions on sites are there to protect and safeguard children, check and if in doubt say no!

 keep phones downstairs and not in bedrooms

 remove the privilege of a phone or device if it is used inappropriately

 Remind children that digital media leaves a digital footprint; this means that messages and images are stored and are traceable. Think what you say and post

 Use sensibly and safely – look after each other and yourself