When teens were asked if they would like their parents to be involved in educating them about social media, their answers might surprise you.
According to a report by The Washington Post, teens welcome open discussion with their parents, with regard to their usage of common social media apps.
Here are some of the things kids - in the US, at least – would like their parents to discuss with them.
We want you to talk to us about different apps
- Parents should download and use some of the apps, learn about its good qualities and the dangers that come with it.
- Talk to us about how we use different social media apps. We are most likely aware of the consequences, and use it in a safe and mature manner.
- In some cases, teenagers are victims of online stalking and abuse. If parents know how to navigate through these apps, they can give us advice on how to minimise risky behaviour.
Understand that there are good things about social media
- Social media isn’t good or bad - it is a new form of communication and a language that adults need to learn.
- When adults express genuine curiosity and compassion about the positive experiences associated with online interactions, kids are more likely to confide in them about the intertwining nature of their online and in-real-life experiences.
- "We just want you to know about our world," says a teen. Positive, supportive online communities can make a world of difference to kids who have moved to a new area, or who don’t feel particularly connected to their school community.
Have a mature conversation about sexting
- Tweens and teens who are socialising and navigating relationships online and in-real-life face challenges unheard of in previous generations. Some might mistakenly confuse the sending of explicit photos and messages with a level of intimacy that might not exist, and others might not fully understand the long-term social consequences of sending, sharing and storing explicit photos.
- According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common Project, teens may benefit from conversations focused on promoting the skills needed to develop and maintain healthy relationships.
- We must change how we talk about the social world, both online and in-real-life. “Talk to us in a way that isn’t awkward,” says one teen.