A Parent’s Strategy for Social Media & Kids: Communication & Boundaries

Navigating social media as a parent can be challenging, as it presents opportunities and risks for children. The risks of social media to kids are more prevalent than the opportunities, such as being vulnerable to cyberbullying, privacy concerns, inappropriate content, online predators, the impact on mental health, technology addiction, and scams or fraud. 

This article is not here to scare you and your children away from social media use but to provide guidance on managing your children’s social media use, protecting their mental health, and fostering responsible online behavior. 

Start Early Conversations

The age at which children can be allowed to use social media is 100% a parent’s choice. However, before they begin using social media, you must talk with your children about its potential impact at a young age. This way, they can develop a healthy understanding of its benefits and risks.

Educate Yourself

Familiarize yourself with popular social media platforms, their features, and privacy settings. This knowledge will help you guide your children effectively. Understand where data is collected, and make informed decisions about privacy settings on each platform. If you are unsure, use the internet to research before allowing your children to participate on different social media platforms mindlessly.

Set Age-Appropriate Restrictions

Many social media platforms have age restrictions for a reason. Ensure your children meet the minimum age requirement and consider delaying their access until they are mature enough to understand the implications. If your children give you pushback, they most likely do not understand. Try to explain the risks in a way they would understand. 

Establish Guidelines and Boundaries

Work with your children to establish clear guidelines for social media use. Discuss the amount of time they can spend online, the type of content they can post or consume, and the importance of respectful behavior online. 

Talk with them about the signs of cyberbullying and what to do if they experience any. Cyberbullying occurs in different forms, such as sending threatening or derogatory messages, spreading rumors or lies about someone, sharing embarrassing or manipulated photos or videos without consent, creating fake profiles or accounts to harass others, and excluding or ostracizing someone online. It can also involve identity theft, hacking, or impersonation to access personal information or accounts. 

Create an environment where your children feel comfortable discussing their online experiences. Encourage them to come to you if they encounter any problems.

Monitor Their Activity

Stay involved in your children’s online activities by monitoring their social media usage. This doesn’t mean spying on them but being aware of their online friends, the content they share, and their overall behavior is essential. There are software programs, like apps, that you can install to see their activity. 

Teach Critical Thinking Skills

Help your children develop critical thinking skills to evaluate the authenticity and reliability of information online. Teach them to question and verify sources before accepting information as accurate. A great way to practice this is to participate in social media usage with them. While viewing different pages or channels, ask open-ended questions, help them develop hypotheses, and encourage thinking in new and different ways. 

Encourage Offline Activities

Balance is essential. Encourage your children to engage in offline activities such as hobbies, sports, and spending time with family and friends. 

Engaging in offline activities will help them maintain a healthy relationship with social media and prevent excessive screen time. We want social media to be informative, fun, and interactive for kids. However, using technology can become addicting for children quickly. If your child is begging to get online, offer alternatives first, or encourage playing outside with them. Enforce boundaries, like setting a certain amount of time they can use it. 


Open and ongoing communication is critical. Regularly check in with your children about their social media experiences, promptly address any concerns or issues, and adjust your approach as they grow and mature. If you feel like your child’s technology addiction is out of control, contact our therapists, who can help you enforce boundaries with your children.