A healthy attitude to social media is not just for children, it is for all of us. You can model the positive online behaviours you want to see in your children.
Young people look to their parents when it comes to developing and understanding acceptable behaviours. Consider the ways you are posting and sharing on social media, and what messages it might be sending your child.
What kinds of photos or videos are you posting of your children?
- Think about the kinds of photos or videos you're sharing. You might think something is innocent or cute, but how might your child react to an embarrassing photo of themselves especially if they are tagged for all their friends to see.
- Consider how many photos you're posting to your social media channels. Be aware of over sharing about your child on social media and falling into trap of 'sharenting’.
- As your child gets older, it's good idea to ask them for their consent before posting a photo or video. This way you can include your child in important decisions about their digital reputation while also demonstrating how important it is for them to get consent before posting another person's image in their own social media posts.
What messages are you sending with your own use of social media?
- Are you using social media for good or are you using it as a place to vent frustrations? Telling kids to be positive online is great but it is more powerful if you can show them what that means. Review your own social media use, and make sure you are sending the right messages. Think about what you are posting, who you are following, and the kinds of comments you are making.
- How often are you looking at social media? Role model healthy screen time limits. If you expect your child to put their phone away at certain times or places, make sure you're being consistent in your own use and following the same expectations. Consider working with your child to develop a social media charter or screen time plan.
- Are you capturing a moment rather than enjoying it? If you reach for your phone during any exciting family moment, it can send the wrong message about your priorities. Keep some experiences sacred by being present and giving them your full attention.
- Are you comfortable with your child seeing your social media feed? If you are happy to share your social media feed, you can use it as an example of a ‘positive online presence’. Talk about the things that you share and why and help your child in making good decisions when sharing online.
Curriculum and syllabus links
NSW Syllabus outcomes
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
- 'Is 'sharenting' a good idea?', Office of the eSafety Commissioner, accessed 18 January 2022
- 'Control your phone. Don’t let it control you.', Common Sense media, accessed 18 January 2022
- 'The 'sharent' trap – should you ever put your children on social media?', The Guardian, accessed 18 January 2022
- 'Sharenting: why mothers post about their children on social media', The Conversation, accessed 18 January 2022