You and your child have talked a lot about online safety, the responsibilities they now face by owning a phone and using technology, so what’s next? If you kids are like many others their age, they will be interested in (or may already have) an Instagram account. While you may have concerns about their Instagram use, this doesn’t have to be a battle. With some patience, gentle guidance, and open communication, you can teach your children to use Instagram safely and responsibly.
Should I Follow My Child and Should I Tell Them Who to Follow?
You know your children better than anyone else, you know their maturity level, their concerns and shortcomings, and everything else about them, but monitoring your child on social media may give you some added insight into some of the things that they may not always tell you that they are into, or if they are having any problems with their peers.
If you are trying to figure out how to monitor kids on Instagram, following them on Instagram may seem like a great way to gain insight into what new ideas and trends they are engaging with, and how they like to express themselves when not under your watchful eye. It is a double-edged sword though; you may also see things taken out of context that you don’t like. By following your kids, you may also limit their self-expression because they may be worried about what their parents might see, and may not approve of, even if it is innocent. After all, how many times have you had to second-guess something you’re thinking of posting to Facebook, even as an adult, because of your how mom might react, or even worse, your grandmother?
Another question that parents frequently ask is if they should control what accounts their kids follow. The best approach is to talk with your children about why they want to follow a particular account. There are of course obvious age-inappropriate profiles and content creators that you can safely request your child not to follow. That is a conversation we recommend you have with your children,so that they can understand why certain accounts or profiles are better left out of their Instagram feeds. A child monitoring app can assist you in ensuring that your kids aren’t following anything inappropriate or harmful, while still protecting their privacy. Jiminy keeps parents up-to-date on a child’s social media usage, such as the amount of time spent on each platform. It tracks mentions, what hashtags your child is viewing and using, and more. And it alerts parents of potentially concerning activity, such as sexting, while still maintaining their privacy. It’s the least-invasive monitoring app currently on the market, balancing children’s freedom and parents’ peace of mind.
Should I Control What My Child Posts?
It is also important to discuss with your children what kinds of things they should and shouldn’t post. You can remind them that, while they may think that their social media accounts such as Instagram are private, once you post online, there is no way to fully control what happens to their content. Many parents ask if they should tell their kids what they should and shouldn’t post online, but the simple truth of the matter is, how would we as adults feel if we were being dictated on how we should express ourselves?
Open communication between you and your teens about their digital footprint will help ensure that they have a positive experience online. Jiminy, as an app for parental control, can be a great tool that allows you to monitor your child’s online behavior non-invasively, only alerting you if there is a potential problem, and allowing you to discuss issues with your children while still keeping the details of their conversations and online activity private.
How to monitor kids’ Instagram accounts is something that only you, as their parent, can decide upon. There are not any set rules, as every child and family is different and will need guidance specific to them.