The question of whether or not parents should monitor their children’s social media often triggers a lot of follow up questions. At what age should parents start and stop monitoring their child’s social media? Should they tell their child that they’re doing it, or hide it from them?
The overall purpose of monitoring a child’s online activity should be less about ‘catching them out’ and more about encouraging them to actively self-regulate and avoid partaking in dangerous or reckless activity. The ultimate goal is one of supporting children’s independence to make these decisions themselves as a responsible and rational adult.
If you have serious concerns about your child’s online safety and wellbeing, and if you feel they need more time to earn your trust, consider setting up regular spot-checks (with your child’s knowledge) to help keep tabs on their online activities.
Tell your child what you want to look at and what you are looking for (e.g. their privacy settings, what they’re sharing and with who), and make it clear you’re doing it to help keep them safe.
We recommend checking out these helpful articles in the Beacon app:
- Gaming and screen time (video) by ySafe
- Why the best parental control is YOU by Common Sense Media
- 3 places families should make phone-free by Common Sense Media
Simply search these titles in the FOR YOU menu or type 'screen time' for a full list of helpful articles and videos.