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Child & Teen Health

Kids and social media: Guidance for parents

April 5, 2011

About the Author

photo of Michael Craig Miller, MD

Michael Craig Miller, MD, Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publishing

Michael Craig Miller, M.D., was Editor in Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter from August 2000 to March 2012. Published monthly, the Harvard Mental Health Letter was read widely by professionals and non-professionals alike. Dr. … See Full Bio
View all posts by Michael Craig Miller, MD


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Bethany Cousins
January 30, 2012

Great article!

My children are computer addicts, but thank goodness they lean more toward the games than the social media. Although I have to admit that both of my older children have Facebook accounts, they rarely use them, as our house rule strictly states, “No chatting on the Internet.” We recently published Peace of Mind: Internet Safety for Your Kids to provide some ideas for parents and feel strongly that we all need to keep a close eye on our children when it comes to the Internet!

Heather Smith
January 4, 2012

Good article, social media use could benefit the average teenage kids by interacting with same age group and with different backgrounds and learning to think by themselves what is good for them.

December 18, 2011

Social media is just another evolutionary phase, for many children now this is as much a part of their social development as interacting with other kids face to face. Parental control is of course necessary along with appropriate usage guidance but this cannot be restricted completely. We exist and interact in a digital age and social media is now as (if not more) prevalent than the telephone.
Goood article. Thanks for sharing it.

Michelle DeMarco
November 18, 2011

I have the logins to my children’s accounts so I can go in and check them at any time. I also have their computers in a general area facing out so I can see what they are doing on their screens. This has really helped me keep tabs on them and encourages them to be transparent.

I am also suspicious enough to go and check their friend’s accounts to see if they have created a new facebook account separate from the one I “know” about. That is how I discovered my son had a second account and then we had a chat about that and how it is important for me to see what is going on in his social life.

Great article and a tough decision either way. Overall, I have found that light social networking has been fun for the kids.

October 27, 2011

Personally, I think kids should be banned from any social media devices and should be out playing and actually conversing with their peers.

Digital Media Mam
July 12, 2011

This is such a difficult subject. On one hand kids have to participate in social media just to stay in current social flows. On the other hand, the internet has made children much easier targets for predators. A parent may not want to intrude on their child’s privacy, but how does one really monitor what a kid is doing online? Even if you could access the child’s Facebook or MySpace page, what about texts and Tweets? I’m curious to know what practices parents have come up with that work.
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Lee Mainprize
July 6, 2011

My kids are coming are not teens as yet, I do worry about when they do the exposure to porn, voilence and other negative influences. A strong up bringing underpinned with values and morals will help them navigate their way, one thing for sure you can’t hide or ban then from it.


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Tom Ewer
June 18, 2011

Different mediums come and go, but the dangers remain constant.

Rebecca Henry
May 30, 2011

I believe more and more people should read this post. I will share on my Facebook, Twitter and Publicity blog in Los Angeles. Thx

Debby Major
April 27, 2011

Great Article Michael. Looking at the average teen who engages in social media, I am quick to agree they often manage to work smart, not hard. A example we all should take note from.

April 13, 2011

Businesses could benefit greatly from the average teenage kids social media abilities

April 13, 2011

Great article Michael!

Commenting has been closed for this post.

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