Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018! Is it just me or did last year fly by really fast? If it is just me, then I blame my kids…they sort of steal every waking moment. But I digress. It’s a new year, and you know what that means? That’s right, setting unrealistic goals that result in forming even worse habits than the previous year. JK, but it is that time of the year where many people, especially parents, set personal goals that will hopefully result in personal growth. And if you’re a parent of a kid or teen with a smartphone, tablet, gaming system, and/or any potential access to social media, we hope that becoming socially smart is on the top of your New Year Resolutions list. But how do you take steps towards a goal like this? Where do you even start?
Here are four key ways to help you become more socially smart in 2018:
1) Set Agreements Early
Instead of making rules, set agreements (both sides will win!). But be sure and do this proactively, not out of a reaction to your kid messing up online. Go ahead and agree with one another on specific boundaries, tech-free times and zones, consequences to poor behavior, what apps are allowed, random phone checks, etc. The earlier and more precise you can make these agreements, the better this year will be for both of you!
2) Know Their Stuff
Bad decisions are typically made in private, secret, and places you shouldn’t be. Therefore, it’s wise for a parent to know all of their kid’s login info, usernames, and passwords to each of their social media platforms. The more you know, the safer and smarter they will be.
3) Keep the Conversation Going
With the rise of Cyberbullying, suicide rates, and depression stats, it’s critical that you don’t assume your child is in the clear. As human beings, we naturally hide things that have the potential to make us look bad. Therefore, it’s helpful and healing for someone to have honest conversations with us. And who better than you, the most influential person in your kid’s life. Throughout the year, keep honest conversations going.
4) Stay Involved
Perhaps the biggest ingredient in being socially smart is to be involved with your kid’s social media life. The more you are involved, the less likely they are to make unwise decisions. For example, whatever social media network your kid is on, you should be on too…and you should friend them. This year, form a new rhythm of being plugged into your kid’s social media life. In fact, have fun doing social media together!
There you have it! Four key ways to help you become more socially smart this year. Honestly, if you just put one of these into practice, you’ll be well on your way to having a perfect child. Well, maybe not perfect, but one that is more socially smart! Hope you have a Happy New Year!
To stay up-to-date this year with the latest in social media, be sure to join the Be Socially Smart Community.