Man juggling social media icons

Does the statement “I have no idea what my kid does online” frighten you, or can you relate? Let’s face it, kids growing up in today’s digital age, combined with the speed at which new apps or existing apps with new features are popping up, makes it difficult for parents/caregivers to keep up with everything. The proliferation of gaming and social media apps presents both opportunities and challenges for today’s parents/caregivers. 

As we all strive to understand and monitor our kids’ online activities, the need for reliable guidance has never been greater. Fortunately, a multitude of resources have emerged to assist parents/caregivers in navigating this complex landscape.

Common Sense’s Parents’ Ultimate Guides can help keep you up to date and answer your questions about some of the latest platforms and trends. From popular gaming platforms to social media apps, parents can access these comprehensive guides designed to help them understand the ins and outs of their children’s digital experiences. These guides serve as invaluable tools, offering insights into safety features, privacy settings, and potential risks associated with some of the most popular apps for children and teens:

Even if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of all popular apps, there are some common features that you can familiarize yourself with to help ensure that your child is using them in a responsible and safe manner. Common Sense Media describes these features in their article, “11 Social Media Red Flags Parents Should Know About.” From location viewing and tracking to live streaming media, the article describes how each feature can put your child at risk of using social media apps in an unsafe or irresponsible manner and how to mitigate these risks. 

You can also explore a variety of strategies for ongoing monitoring of your child’s devices and online activity. In their article, “How do I decide which parental controls to use?”, Common Sense Media provides guidance on different types of parental controls and monitoring solutions, from solutions that block specific content to social media and text monitors. 

In the end, and as Common Sense media states in their parental controls article – YOU are the best parental control. There are no monitoring solutions or app features that can completely ensure your child’s safety. Like many other aspects of parenting, helping your child navigate their online spaces involves a constant process of educating yourself to the extent that you can and relying on the compiled resources from those who are experts in the field. Most importantly, keep communicating with your child to make expectations clear, redirect when necessary, and celebrate responsible choices when they make them.