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5 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Join Social Media Sites

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Young kids using computer

Set Rules and Limits


Sit down with your child and determine which sites are appropriate to visit, including social media and gaming sites, and set limits on what can be communicated and shared on each one. This includes photos, posts, comments, and anything else that exposes your child's identity.

Consider having access to any accounts your child has set up in her name. Or, set up an account and insist your child become your "friend" or a part of your network. This will allow you to be aware of any inappropriate behavior that might be going on, and it will also act as a reminder to your child of the transparency of this virtual world. Print this parent/child online agreement form so you can both agree to the rules and know what is expected ahead of time.

The Kaiser Family Foundation recommends children between the ages of 8-18 should not use technology (computers, television, smart phones) for more than three hours a day. Set time limits to avoid technology overload, and to ensure your child isn't neglecting other areas of his life (like homework). Also, limit technology use to common areas of your house.

NexT: Beware of Overshare

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