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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

Parenting In The Age Of Social Media

by Taylor Kovar

March 27, 2023

Hi Taylor - All this news about banning TikTok has me thinking about how and when my kids will start using all the different social apps. Have you run into this with your kids? How do you police that kind of stuff?

Hi Jessica - It almost makes you jealous of your parents, right? However difficult we might have been as kids, they didn't have to worry about what we were doing with our phones.

This is definitely an issue my wife and I run into, and our kids are still pretty young, so it's probably only going to get more complicated. I don't think there are any perfect solutions, but I try to focus on a few areas where we have some control.

1. Limit access. As the person who controls the purse strings, you get to control what devices your children get to play with. Without the device, there's no gateway into the social media universe. Of course, it's not as simple as that—an iPad can be a great tool for kids and parents alike. The trap is when we use phones and tablets as a babysitter and let kids use them too much. If, in a moment of weakness, you let your 9-year-old download TikTok so you can have some peace and quiet, you're setting yourself up for trouble. Keep device time limited and try to keep the apps in use limited as well. Nurture other interests and activities and you might not have to fight the tablet out of your kids' hands.

2. Be honest.
If you have concerns about what your kids can see online, that's a conversation to have with your kids. Social media is most pervasive among teens and pre-teens, and those kids are old enough to bring into the discussion about how and why the internet can be problematic. Talk about the trolls and scam artists that concern you. Instead of just saying, "no more phone, that app is bad," talk about why you feel that way.

3. Be realistic.
When you find out your kid has a Snapchat account, don't lose your cool. Kids are getting cell phones younger and younger, so it's only a matter of time before your child sees something you've been trying to keep off their radar. You can't trick your kid into thinking these things don't exist, so you need to have boundaries ready when they start asking for a phone/tablet/YouTube channel. Set an age limit, know what parental controls you want to lock in place, and be ready for some tears and begging. Above all, don't ignore the problem because that's not going to make it go away.

Once you let your kids go online, it's hard to get them off. It's a big-time parenting challenge, so you're smart to be thinking about it now. Just make sure you've got rules in place and do your best to stick to them... Have a tip for our readers on this topic? Send an email to Team@TheMoneyCouple.com, and you might see it in an upcoming segment!

Taylor Kovar

"Go Far With Kovar" March 27, 2023 Column


Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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