Instagram is a very popular social media platform used by individuals of all ages – kids and teenagers included. You may have been using Instagram a lot too to share personal photos and memorabilia of your little ones. Next thing you know, they’re not so little anymore, and you’ll have a child asking you for permission if they can open up a social media account.
When all or a majority of your kids’ peers have one, it can seem too overbearing for you to stop them from having one. Yes, the horrors of parents are always there. But you can do your active part to actually ensure your kid’s application activity continues to stay on the safe – and innocent side.
While it’s almost nearly impossible to ban your kids from using social media nowadays, there are ways for parents to at least have a bit of control, through proper monitoring. Here’s how.
Use Third-Party Apps To View Your Kid’s Instagram Activity
Here’s something for parents to enjoy about. There’s an app for almost everything nowadays, including actually being able to view your kid’s Instagram activity. Those apps allow you to see which accounts your kid is following, what type of content they’re sharing, and who they’re talking to on that platform.
There are too many to name, each with their respective features, like this one which monitors and goes through an account’s Insta story viewer. All you have to do is run a quick search on the internet and true enough, you’ll certainly find one.
Explain The Importance Of Internet Safety
Ideally, it’s not recommended for parents to allow their kids below 13 years old to have an Instagram account. It’s during that early teenager phase that your kid will be better able to understand what the dangers of the Internet are. Moreover, 13 is a good age too to start talking to your kids about sensitive topics that are important for their growth and development.
Once your teenager asks you for permission to have their own Instagram account, this should also signify the start of that discussion on internet safety. The internet is always an alluring place for youngsters. And, that allure to them may easily overshadow all the other negative facets like the presence of pedophiles and cyberbullying, to name a few.
When you explain to your kids what the internet dangers are, it becomes easier for them also to inform you of those instances when they may have been exposed to any of those dangers. It’s always important to have that open conversation, so as to prevent your kid from keeping too many secrets – particularly those concerning their safety online.
Set Up Instagram Parental Control
You now have the apps ready to help you monitor your kid’s Instagram activity. Don’t stop there. When you have younger kids who are on Instagram, it may still be wise for you to enable and set up Instagram’s parental control.
Here are steps on how to do this:
- Set your kid’s account as private. This is helpful so that only your kid’s followers can see their posts. Of course, it’s for you also to teach your kids to limit their followers only to those whom they personally know.
- As an added step to setting your kid’s account to private, you may also want to disable geotagging. In a nutshell, this means your kid won’t be able to share where they are at that precise moment.
- Go through your kid’s follower list regularly, so you can easily tap and remove any follower whom you wouldn’t want to have access to your kid’s Instagram account.
- Block any offensive comments on their account by enabling the ‘Hide Offensive Comments’ option. Positive comments can brighten their day. But, for young teenagers still going through puberty and all the challenges of teenage life, even a simple negative comment may be a big blow to their self-esteem. Hence, a higher risk of depression and, unfortunately, suicidal tendencies in young teenagers.
- Disable public Instagram story replies. This setting can help make your kid’s account less prone to any nasty comments.
- Immediately block any Instagram user whom you think is behaving inappropriately with your child, especially if they’re strangers.
There’s no stopping Instagram’s boost in popularity for all its users. And, there’s also no stopping kids and teenagers from eventually having an account.
While parents fear the horror stories of social media use, it doesn’t always have to be so negative, with proper parental supervision. Your kids can still enjoy those social media sites while staying safe and within the proper limits of what to share, and what not to share.
For parents, the process starts with the tips like those above. One tip at a time, one day at a time, and soon enough you and your kid will be comfortable with proper and safe social media use.