Mum shares online risks with kids to help them share safely online

Would you like to know more about how to prevent kids from oversharing their lives online? Here’s a parent’s view on what really works for her and her kids when it comes to sharing safely online.

Lisa lives in Manchester with her partner and their two daughters, aged 14 and 17.

Talking about the risks with kids

Lisa is a blogger and admits that she’s prone to over-sharing on social media. “I post all kinds of things, including experiences with grief and an abusive relationship,” says Lisa. “But I do talk frequently with the girls about things like nude pictures and ‘sexting’ and I’d be distraught if those things ever became a reality.”

Like most teenage girls, Lisa’s children are both enthusiastic users of social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The family is fairly relaxed about using these platforms, but Lisa says it’s important to communicate with the girls about what they’re doing and talk honestly about the risks.

Going live on social

Lisa’s 14-year-old daughter, Meg, is a keen fan of the latest make-up trends and watches videos online. “At the moment she’s not on YouTube but we might explore that possibility together next year,” she says. For now, Meg does share content live via both Facebook and Snapchat.

“I sometimes worry about how relaxed and honest she can be on social media,” says Lisa. “It’s a no-holds-barred approach including talking about things like self-harming and anxiety. I don’t want this to have a negative impact on her in future.”

Sharing online for good

However, sometimes this sharing can be a positive. Earlier this year, Meg shared some live updates about her anxiety and low mood. As a result, several friends and family members contacted Lisa, concerned for Meg’s well-being.

“I spoke to Meg and discovered she had been self-harming but was too embarrassed to talk to me face to face,” says Lisa. “She used social media as an outlet for those thoughts and feelings. As a result, we were able to arrange CBT treatment, and I am now much more aware of the importance of talking to her on a regular basis.”

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