On behalf of Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney at Law LLC posted in family law on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

The relationship between social media and children always has a negative connotation. Between cyberbullying, predators and other malicious figures online, it seems like a dangerous place for children and young adults.

However, there are benefits to the growing presence of social media in children’s lives. A research study reported in U.S. News found social media plays a crucial role in communication between children and their divorced parents.

The results showed a correlation between parent-child relationships and the frequency of communication, via social media or face-to-face. The study only verifies what most parents know: the more you connect to your child, the stronger your relationship will be.

How to connect via social media

While the purpose of social media platforms is inherently social, it may be difficult for a parent to know how to communicate with their child through Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. Luckily, there are a few tips to communicate with your kid effectively:

  • Know the platforms your child uses – Most parents believe they know every app on their teenager’s phone. However, new social media platforms are popping up every day. It helps to know what your child is using and to create an account for yourself.
  • Create specific boundaries – It’s easy for parents to overstep boundaries when it comes to children’s safety. You need to know where your limits should be while staying active in your child’s online profiles.
  • Establish a routine – If you don’t live with your child, you could establish a daily routine to communicate via FaceTime, Facebook or text. It allows you to continue regular communication when face-to-face conversation isn’t feasible.
  • Use social media together – While parents should prioritize quality time over screen time, you can easily incorporate social media when you are together. You and your child could mess around with Snapchat filters, play videos games or watch YouTube videos together. It allows you to bond over your child’s interests.
  • Understand your role as a parent – Social media is entertaining for children and adults, but it still is an easy environment to make mistakes. It’s up to parents to teach their children how to navigate social media carefully.

If you perceive social media as a tool instead of an enemy, you will develop a stronger bond with your child and their interests. Consider discussing any online communication with your child before starting an Instagram page.