Social Media Safety Guide for Parents
Benefits of Social Media
Connecting with Friends and Family
Finding People Who Share Similar Interests
Getting Involved in Activism or Charities
Enhancing Creativity by Sharing Ideas, Music, and Art
Helping Form Self-expression and Identity
Connecting with Educators and Other Students
Dangers of Social Media for Youths
Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Decrease in Face-to-Face Communication
Do the Benefits Outweigh the Downsides?
Guidelines by Age
2-4 Years Old
- PlaySquare – An interactive children’s game, PlaySquare features animated episodes that turn a “passive viewing experience into an active adventure.”
- Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Street – In Breathe, Think, Do, children lead Sesame Street characters through challenging situations fostering their knowledge of problem-solving.
- PBS Kids Games – PBS Kids Games is an app and website featuring multiple different games with some of kids’ favorite PBS characters.
5-7 Years Old
- LEGO App 4+ – LEGO App 4+ allows kids to build with Legos completely digitally. They can build vehicles, buildings, and animals, among other things.
- iStoryBooks – With iStoryBooks parents can read to their children or let the app do it for them. Each book has audio and pictures, making it interactive and engaging.
- NASA App – Suitable for nearly any age, the NASA App has a collection of photos, videos, mission information, and more. Kids interested in science or space will enjoy this app.
8-9 Years Old
- Minecraft – Minecraft entails a world made of blocks where kids can build, destroy, and build again. As of 2019, Minecraft has potentially become the world’s best selling video game.
- Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Variety Kit – The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Variety Kit allows kids with a Nintendo Switch to build contraptions out of cardboard that bring to life games on their console.
- Super Mario Maker 2 – Super Mario Maker 2 gives kids the choice of playing built-in courses or building their own.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – In the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild kids play as the character Link and are free to roam through fields, forests, and mountains, all the while completing objectives and solving puzzles.
- Portal – Portal features a series of puzzles that require the teleportation of player-character Chell.
General Guidelines for Social Media Safety
- Privacy – Make sure to go over the privacy settings. While these may not be foolproof, they are a starting point for protecting private information.
- Parental Controls – For kids’ games and apps, look into the parental controls and decide for yourself what you do and don’t want your child exposed to.
- Think Before You Post – Remind your child that what they post on the internet is there forever, so it is always a good rule of thumb to think before posting.
- Have a Family Computer – Keeping a computer in a common family room can make monitoring social media and internet usage easier.
- Ad Blockers – By using blocking software, you can limit your child’s exposure to age-inappropriate ads.