This fall, I have been lucky to guest post on many of my favorite sites. Most of the time, I am writing alone with my dog curled up next to me and my cat nuzzling my laptop. One of my favorite parts of guest posting is a chance to collaborate with human digital parenting experts. The other part is being able to share the sites that I look at all the time with my readers.
SafeSmartSocial is one of my top digital parenting sites. This site is not about scaring parents but giving them confidence.Their focus is on providing parents with the information they need to make the best decisions for their families. Below is my article I wrote with them on what to do, when despite your best efforts, your child makes a mistake online.
The first 3 things you should do when your child makes social media mistakes
When parents worry about kids making mistakes online, they usually focus on sexting and stranger danger. While it is important to talk to kids about these headline grabbing issues, they can overshadow what kids are really dealing with every day. After school, they are hanging out with their friends and classmates in Facebook Groups or on Instagram. It is during these day-to-day social networking interactions when kids are most often running into trouble.
Communication happens fast online. It is so easy to quickly post or respond to someone without really thinking it through.
According to the Pew Internet Study on Teens and Friendship, 68% of teen social media users experienced drama among their friends on social media and 26% had a conflict with a friend over something that happened online or over text messages. With kids as young as 4th or 5th grade on Instagram, kids of any age may find themselves in a situation they do not have the social skills to handle.
Everyone makes mistakes. Missteps are not the end of the world, but an opportunity to learn. Even in the digital world, kids should never feel a mistake is too big to rectify. Correcting a mistake online is not so different from correcting a mistake offline. The sooner they deal with it, the easier it will be to fix.