For a number of parents, Facebook isn’t seen to be just another social networking websites which is popular amongst teenagers. For them, it is seen to be a platform where any bad thing can happen and actually does happen. While it may seem like these parents are overly paranoid, to a certain extent their fears are correct. Everyone has heard of teenagers uploading pictures of themselves which aren’t considered to be appropriate, engaging in inappropriate behavior, being involved in cyber-bullying and being the victims of sexual crimes on the internet. There are a number of fears which are associated with Facebook and these cannot be ignored. It is the responsibility of the parents to keep their children safe on the internet and it is their responsibility to supervise them.
Here are the steps that can help you in Supervising Teenagers on Facebook.
Supervising Teenagers on Facebook
Adding them on Facebook: Teenagers tend not to add their parents on Facebook as they believe this will allow them to lose their privacy for good. Due to this, they may not even be willing to talk to their parents about Facebook. Despite these reasons, it is important that parents become a part of social networking websites to keep an eye on their children in the digital world. Parents should try convincing their children to accept their friend requests by telling them why they want to be part of their social network profile. If the children do not listen and agree, parents can blackmail them to get them to accept the friend request or take away their internet privileges.
Remaining vigilant: to make sure that children are behaving appropriately online, parents should look up their posts, friend lists, pages and messages. The actual motive however should not be lost which is to keep children safe and not to snoop in their personal lives. If the parent comes across a post or a message which is objectionable, they should talk to their children about it. such issues can be sensitive which is why care must be taken to talk about them and the discussion should be kept like a normal talk rather than becoming an interrogation or a confrontation.
Putting forward rules: parents should set rules regarding the kind of content their children can share on their Facebook profiles. This can ensure that their vulnerability to threat is reduced. Parents can also specify the number of hours children can spend on social media websites. It is recommended that the children too are involved in the rule making process so that they can easily accept and follow them. Parents should also warn their children of the consequences of not following these rules such as losing their right to use the internet.
Making use of parental control software’s: one convenient way to keep an eye on children and their activity on Facebook is by making use of parenting control software. While this may be a good option, care must be taken as to how the option is made use of. The children being monitored should be told in advance of the software being used so that they do not feel that their privacy is being violated. They should be assured that their privacy will be respected and parent should stay true to this in order to maintain trust between the relationship. At the same time, parents should refrain from reading every conversation their child has. Instead, focus should be paid to detecting any kind of danger such as having a new friend or one whom you do not recognize, who could be a predator in disguise.
Supervising teenagers over the internet and on Facebook in particular is a very risky business. While parents have the best interest in mind for their children, the latter do not seem to think so and often feel that their parents are violating their trust which is why they do not wish to accept the protection being provided by their parents. It is thus the responsibility of the parents to ensure to their child that every measure they are taking is for their own protection and that they should trust them. If children do take the step to trust their parents, it is the parent’s responsibility as well to uphold their end of the deal and not spy on their children for purposes other than which they have mentioned to their child and that should be their safety only.