So, when is it a good time to discuss your grandchild’s participation in social media platforms?

If you are concerned, and your grandchild has a smartphone then the answer to that question is now.

Many children are being exposed to social media from a very young age. Even though most have an age limit of 13 years, banning participation for children under that age, it is not difficult for a bright child to work out how to get around those restrictions.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each one?

Facebook –

There are limitations set on who can a user’s profile and posts. I would recommend it is set to “friends only” for children.

You can also delete posts and report spam or inappropriate behavior.

If your grandchild agrees to follow someone you are suspicious about you can block that person, and stop them from having anything to do with you or your family.

Twitter –

There are less restrictions on Twitter users and if someone follows you they can send you a direct message immediately.

This may result in your grandchild getting sent rude images and messages – it happens to me all the time, and I instantly block the user.

There are options in the setting that stop anyone sending direct messages, however, and these should be explored fully.

How to help your grandchild learn about the pitfalls of social media
How to help your grandchild learn about the pitfalls of social media

Instagram –

Instagram has the same restrictions and limitations. It is sent up primarily for sharing images which can be liked and commented on.

Snapchat –

Snapchat got a poor reputation for allowing under-aged users to send explicit images of each other. Check the restrictions and privacy settings if your grandchild is leaning towards this platform.

You can’t be too cautious

As with all profiles restrict and limit the type of image your grandchild uses. It is not a good idea to advertise they are underage by putting an image of their face up. Rather use their favorite sporting logo, a picture of their pet or their favorite animal.

Continually check to make sure your grandchild has not changed the privacy settings, and if they have and this is against your rules, a few days without their phone is a good punishment.

For more ideas see – Keeping your grandchild safe online

How to help your grandchild set up their first social media account
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