Kari Kampakis, a blogger and author of the book Parenting Your Teen in an Age of Social Media, recently posted a list of five guiding principles to use in teaching our children to be safe and responsible online. These principles are aimed at having our children develop the habits and skills to know how to have their online presence be safe and healthy, just like we teach our children to be safe in the real world. These five principles are:
- Remember your reputation is at stake. Every choice you make reveals your character.
- Consider three questions before you post: Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?
- Seek to be kind, not popular.
- If you aren’t feeling the love, stay off social media.
- Social media should supplement your relationships, not replace them.
Mrs. Kampakis’s article goes into depth on each of these principles. Each point also provides a jumping off point for you to have a conversation with your child about social media, online behavior, and responsibility. Finally, it is important that we as adults set a good example of positive behavior online. Our children learn much more from what we do than from what we say.
Photo courtesy of Wesley Fryer under Creative Commons license.