Watch what they watch. At
a time when you’re hanging out and both feeling relaxed, ask your child
to share some of their favorite videos or social media challenges with
you. Watch them together on the same device and be curious — even if the
content seems silly to you, try to share their enthusiasm and find
something positive to say (assuming the content is harmless).
Talk with, not to, your child.
If you think something is harmful or unsafe, ask open-ended questions
such as, “why do you like this one?” or “do you think this is dangerous
or could hurt someone?” followed by “why/why not?” and listen to their
answers. When you resist the urge to interrupt and avoid judgment, you
help your child come to a conclusion on their own.
Teach them how to pause before saying “yes.” When
your child is faced with a decision, such as whether or not to
participate in a social media challenge, accept a friend invitation from
someone they don’t know, or engage with others while playing an online
video game, help them learn how to:
Stop for a moment
Think through the pros and cons of the action they are considering
Decide what’s best for their mental / emotional / social / physical health
Act, either by taking part or choosing not to
Join in on the fun! Many social media challenges are positive, such as #TrashTag or #365GratefulProject;
silly, think the Pillow Challenge or Pet TicTacToe; or just plain fun,
like so many dance challenges. Get out of your comfort zone and do one
with your child or offer to film them doing it. By taking part, you’ll
make memories together and your child will be more likely to share what
they are doing online with you in the future.