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Is Your Child Using These Apps?

In our post, Five Potentially Dangerous Apps for Kids, we listed apps you may want to consider monitoring if your child is using them on their mobile device.  With the help of the National PTA, we’re expanding the list:

snapchat

 

Snapchat—You’ve probably heard of this one. It’s a video messaging app where users can take photos and record videos to a targeted list of contacts. Accompanied with a set of fun filtered frames and tools to draw and add emojis, users have a ton of fun ways to interact. Once you hit send, the message will self-destruct. (Price: Free; Age: 13+)

 

Voxer

Voxer—This is a walkie talkie like messaging app that uses a voice messaging and “push-to-talk” system to communicate. By default, Voxer enables the “Share Location” and disables the “Privacy Mode.” That means, anyone communicating with your child can track their location. It’s important to check and enable privacy and location settings so you do not reveal any personal information. (Price: Free; Age: 13+)

 

tinder

Tinder—If you’re a single parent or talk to your single friends, this is a popular dating app that connects matched users based off mutual interests and location. However, teens are actively on it. The app uses your information from Facebook including date of birth to verify your age. Users aged between 13 and 17 can see only other Tinder users within the same age group. Users over 18 can see only other users who are also over 18.  (Price: Free; Age: 13+)

 

For the majority of the apps listed above the user has to be 13 years or older to sign up—teens under 18 are to “agree” with their parent or guardian before they sign-up.

Parenting the Snapchat Generation

Join nationally known social media expert, Jerry Ackerman to learn about:

Parenting the Snapchat Generation

Key Topic Areas for the presentation include:

  • A current look at the state of technology in a student’s life
  • Rules parents should have for technology with your child
  • Apps parents need to know about!
  • How parents can be armed to help the onslaught of technology

This kid friendly, community event is FREE but registration is required.

Questions?  Contact healthykidstoday@wphf.org or 407.493.9703

Responsible and Safe Social Media Use for Kids

child on computerOur kids are growing up in a world where technology is advancing in an ever-rapid pace and their understanding of it seems to come second nature.  With that has come the world of social media.  Social media can be a great tool for connecting with friends, learning about online interaction and encouraging self-expression.  However, social media sites also come with some inherent dangers if they are not used properly.

It is important, as parents, to make sure that our kids understand the complexities of social media and how that can affect them in the real world.  Healthy Kids Today has compiled a list of tips for parents to go over with their kids on how to use social media in a responsible and safe way.  Let us know some other ways you help your kids use social media responsibly in the comment section below.

  • Know the age restrictions – Facebook states that it is for ages 13+.  Although they have no real way of enforcing this, as a parent you can.  Most social network sites have some sort of age requirements or suggestions.
  • Check privacy settings – All social media sites have privacy settings.  For example, on Facebook you can set your account to have to approve all photos or comments that you are tagged in.  You can also set your profile to only be seen by people who are already friends.  Go over these settings and explain what they mean to your kids.
  • Online reputation and thinking before you post – Talk to you kids about what an online reputation is.  When people post online (pictures, links and even plain text) it can be reposted by others and very hard, nearly impossible, to get rid of it even if you delete the original post.  Impress upon them, that what you say and do online can last forever.  With that, it is important to think before you post.  If they are angry and want to attack someone online, teach them to take a breather and step away from the computer.  It is not appropriate nor a good decision to use social media to bully someone even if they did it first.  This also goes for sexually suggestive language or pictures.  It is never a good idea to post anything that is sexually suggestive.  Impress on your kids that colleges, universities and even employers are looking at social media profiles before they hire or admit students.  Those types of posts can hurt you long after you post them.
  • Create ground rules for social media use – Create house rules for what your kids can and cannot do with their social media profiles.  This should include times that they can and cannot be on social media and the length of time they are allowed to stay on it.  This is another opportunity to go over what is appropriate to post.  Try writing out a contract and having everyone, including parents, sign it.  Display the contract near the computer so that everyone sees it.
  • Keep the computer in a central location – Having the computer in a central location where you can watch your kids, even if it’s passively, will help curb inappropriate use.  You will be able to monitor what your child is doing and they will be less inclined to do things they know they aren’t allowed to do.
  • Be a good example for your kids – Practice what you preach.  If you are living by the rules you have put in place, then your kids are more likely to emulate them.  Be the example you want your kids to be.