#onlinedating | Internet safety for kids making friends online | #bumble | #tinder | #pof


Strategies for talking to your kids

The importance of connection and making friends online may not alleviate concerns about children’s online interactions. This makes safe social media an important topic of conversation for parents to have with kids. A conversation will let parents express themselves while also being supportive of kids. This will establish healthy online behavior and open the door to future sharing about online engagement. Here are two ways to start the conversation:

  1. Initiate these discussions early. Likeable Media CEO Carrie Kerpen speaks eloquently on this as “shaping the narrative” in a blog post about making friends online. “When you start kids young on social media, kids are more open to learn,” says her daughter Liv, who was 11 at the time. “If I had waited, I wouldn’t be as willing to listen to my mom. You can help shape their narrative.”

  2. Encourage openness with your kids about their online interactions. Taking an interest in kids’ online lives will help develop this. Discussing internet safety relating to current events or incidents that may have happened in school or your community can also provide important social media context. Positive examples of solutions that resolved these incidents help equip kids to deal with persistent online risks like bullying. These conversations are an investment in encouraging openness with your kids about their online interaction.

Use digital control tools to control what you can.

Knowing the digital tools available to manage online engagement is important.

  • Learn how to use the privacy settings in social media apps.

  • Explore parental controls in Just Kids. The internet parental controls with Verizon’s Just Kids plan includes time restrictions and additional internet parental controls for free.

  • Ask your kids how they protect their privacy when using their favorite apps. It may surprise you to know that many kids know about and use tools available to them to block problematic users and ensure privacy in their online social lives.

Know the warning signs.

Knowing common warning signs can help parents identify potential situations that may involve unhealthy or potentially dangerous online interactions. Some examples of behavior that, especially when combined, could indicate concern:

  • Long hours spent online

  • Secretive behavior, like hiding a phone or laptop when parents enter the room

  • Unexpected arrival of physical gifts from someone unknown to the parents

  • Withdrawal from family life

Having this foundational knowledge about making your kids making friends online should help parents rest easier. In a world where kids are increasingly seeking connection online, it’s important to be supportive, communicative and understanding before diagnosing your child’s online behavior as an immediate problem.

When your kids are making friends online, put more internet parental controls into play today with Verizon’s Just Kids, which offers more ways to control usage, access and internet safety for kids in one app.



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