Co-parents: Stay on the same page with your kids’ social media

When parents divorce, their children get the wind taken out of their sails, no matter what their age(s). They can become especially vulnerable to unsavory influences that they “meet” online via social media sites.

Problems can brew when one parent is laxer than the other parent regarding their children’s social media usage rules. To avoid problems or tragedies, the following information might be helpful.

Start a dialogue early

If you allow kids aged seven to nine to have their own tablets (or access yours), keep the conversations light and superficial. Ask what they and their friends do on their phones and tablets. Learn which games they play and insist on knowing all passwords.

The tween years pose more problems

During the tween years, it becomes a bit more complex because bullying can emerge from their peer group. Make sure that you can review the posts they both send and receive so you know if you need to intercede,

Kids of this age are able to understand accounts can be hacked and cloned. They are old enough to realize that someone entirely different from who they portray online can be behind those accounts. Ideally, your children will feel equally comfortable with both co-parents to openly discuss social media and any problems they might have with online relationships.

Which parent makes the final call on kids’ social media usage?

If one is a helicopter parent and the other uses screentime as a babysitter, problems will arise. Your job is to keep your kids safe from online predators, so you might need to ask the family law court to weigh in if you cannot reach an accord.