Is your child ready for social media?

Social media and the Internet can be both a blessing and a burden. The blessing? You can find anything and communicate with anyone at the tips of your fingers. The burden? You can find anything and communicate with anyone at the tips of your fingers. See the problem?

Cheryl Dolson is a bullying prevention specialist. One of her responsibilities is to provide training about bullying prevention and intervention to staff at Jefferson County Public Schools. She also works with parents and community members to raise awareness and educate on topics such as bullying on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“Social media has a played a role in school bullying because now, students cannot escape from it, as many are on social media 24/7,” Dolson said.

Although schools are not responsible for interactions that take place on social media, parents should notify the school if social media is having a negative impact on the student’s time at school.

Is your child ready for social media?

“Maturity level and responsible behavior are the most important criteria to look at,” Dolson said.

If your child uses social media, keep these supervision tips in mind:

  • Monitor your child’s social media use daily.
  • Make sure your child has only one password. Know what it is and keep it in a safe place.
  • Ask your child to turn off technology at a certain time each evening. Otherwise, her or she will be tempted to be on it throughout the night.

If your child is having problems with bullying through social media or elsewhere on the Internet, Dolson suggests immediately putting a stop to what’s going on.

“Take a screenshot, save your evidence and bring it to school. We can look at it and determine how we will address it. Also, block that person from all communication with your child,” Dolson said.

Do you have more questions or are you still concerned about your child’s Internet and social media use? Join Dolson and a Louisville Metro Police Department officer on Tuesday, June 9, for our free class, “Parent Talk: Getting Caught in the Web.” Learn about the positive qualities of the Internet and social media for connection and entertainment while raising awareness about the dangers of unsupervised use.

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