Parent shares questions kids should answer before posting

If your children are just on the edge of getting their own devices or have started sharing online, Emma Vanstone, social media savvy Mum of three, outlines key questions she asks her children to answer before sharing online.

Questions that children should consider before sharing online

My children ( 9, 8 and 6 ) don’t yet have their own social media accounts, but my two eldest do have access to a school based system where they can send friends photos and leave messages and also have their own blogs online. We’ve talked extensively about what should and should not be shared online, and have agreed that before they post anything they ask themselves the following:

  • Is it something I am happy for my friends to read?
  • Is it about anyone other than me?
  • Would Mum/Dad/School approve?
  • Does it contain personal information – we defined personal as information about where we live, their school (if a blog post) and anything body or health related.

If the answer to the top three is No or the last question Yes, they know they should check with me before posting.

Managing children’s access and use of the internet

As we haven’t yet hit the age for social media accounts it’s very easy for me to track their online activity. I don’t allow any of my children on the internet unsupervised at home. If they are on the computer an adult has to be present in the room and they know I can logon to their school email accounts. We only have a family iPad, which the children use in airplane mode only.

Getting our home internet set up safe

We have not yet locked down our home internet to make it safe for the children, which is part of the reason I am so careful. We do plan to set up a way to make our internet safe for the children to use, but aren’t really sure how to go about doing it, which is why we haven’t as yet, but it is on my list of things to do. I’m sure there is lots of support out there to help me, I just need to find some time to research it.

When my children do have social media accounts I will definitely be finding out the best way to monitor their activity and would appreciate advice on this issue.

My 9 year old tells me I am the strictest parent regarding internet access he knows.

She runs a science education website and manages social media accounts for a variety of blogging/parenting websites.

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