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Jun 01, 2021
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Sophia Clark

Should I Let My Tween Girl Use Social Media?

The word ”tween” is an age group between children and teenagers. A tween is the age of 9 years old to 12 years old. A tween isn’t a young boy either, but not a teenager. The tween years are a time of rapid change and growth. A tween develops mentally, internally, and socially into an adolescent, and learns to take on new roles, challenges, and responsibilities at school and home. This is the age period where they learn about social networking sites.

Social media is an application or website of a digital platform where people can share or collaborate their content, interact, or connect with people online. Users can share their photos, videos, content, and can chat with family and friends. It can be also used in marketing and business. There are different categories of social media. Here are the major types of social media.

Social Networks

Social networking is specialized in communicating and engaging with other people, thoughts, and information with users who share their preferences and interests. It provides a platform to share their content. For example, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Media Networks

Media Networks allow people to share their content like photos and videos which helps them to interact with different people globally. For example Youtube and Instagram. On Youtube, users can share, subscribe, like, and comment on videos. This platform can also be used in business marketing.

Discussion Networks

Discussion networks like Reddit are the perfect way to create in-depth user conversation. In the comment section, users could leave comprehensive replies, and other users could specifically respond to those responses, allowing the interaction to be organically evolving and improving.

Review Networks

Review networking such as Yelp, Amazon, and TripAdvisor bring to consumer feedback of goods and services social media dimensions. It allows users to communicate explicitly with those giving ratings.

The Good and Bad Side of Social Media

Every aspect has its two sides, the bad and the good. Social media plays a crucial role in developing overall skills but it can also affect your teen's self-esteem. Social networking sites help to entertain, make friends, share interests. etc So, social media apps have their benefits for kids and adult life. Here are some of them.

  • Allows to interact, chat with friend and family
  • Develop social skills
  • Help to enhance the problem-solving, decision-making skills
  • Develop creativity skills
  • Helps to get an education and learning opportunity
  • Allows sharing hobbies and interest
  • Platform to showcase talent
  • Allows us to know about world affairs
  • Platform to earn money

Social media also carries risks and threats. Here are some of them.

  • Excessive use of social media lead to addiction
  • Victim of Cyberbullying
  • Inappropriate content
  • Victim of an online scam
  • Chances of account hacked
  • Chances of bad influence
  • Sharing private information
  • Sleep deprivation

How do I keep my children away from social media?

  • Get parental control apps to monitor their kid’s online and offline activities.
  • Learn more about the programs and apps your child is using. There are age limits for social media sites to enter. However, children can comfortably deal with them.
  • Tell your kids that they are tracking your device to keep them secure. Relationships between kids and parents will also be healthy.
  • Make them aware of inappropriate things that might appear on social media.
  • Display interest and raise questions about your child's online life.

Should I let my tween girl use social media?

As mentioned above Tween is a periodic age group between 9-12. This is an age when we can see rapid changes in emotional and physical. In a recent survey tween who use social media has gradually reduced. They also observed that using social media at an early age specifically impacted girls, but had a lesser effect on boys. Girls who spend a lot of time on social media at an early age tend to be unhappy rather than a teen who uses less social media. Moreover, they found that this problem of misery existed only between girls and not between boys.

Wait for the right age to give a cell phone to kids. For a tween girl, parents should restrict their mobile device usage. So, Parents should allow their tween girl to use social site apps after 13 only because most of the social networking apps have a restriction that he/she needs to be 13 to use social media apps. Parents also need to teach their kids to have a safe online activity. Allow them when it’s needed, not when they want to use it.

The problem of underage usage

Nowadays, around 30% of underage have a digital device. Whether it’s for an online class or for just showing a new gadget, everyone has mobile devices. Underage children are wiser to persuade their parents to have digital technologies. As soon as they have access to the internet, it doesn’t take a long time for kids to use social media. Majorities of the child make their social media account without their parents’ knowledge.

For underage it’s harmful to use social sites. They use social media to interact with their friends or to connect with different people. They are unaware of the negative vulnerabilities that social media carries. If they become the victim of cyberbullying, their emotion will be carried away which leads to mental and physical health complications.

The right age to allow usage

There is no appropriate age to use Social Media. Even 9-12 tween having a social media account. It depends on their parents whether to allow your tween to use social media or not. Age doesn’t matter if your tweens are ready to obey the rule set by your parents or mature enough about the sense of belonging.

We are all mindful that there are all sorts of users on social media, and there are all kinds of information circulated. Many researchers have shown that the age of 13-16 it’s the right age to use social media. If your teens are ready to be within the boundaries set by their parents or follow the guidelines. It’s an appropriate age to use social media. As many social media have a privacy restriction, your age needs to be 13 to access social media.

How to protect your tween from the negative effects of social media

It’s important to protect your tween from digital threats. As most of the tween has a curious nature where they tend to learn new things. Parents should set some boundaries regarding social media use. Here are the ways to protect your tween from the detrimental effects of social media.

Use parental control apps

Parental control apps will be a viable solution to block those effects. There are many parental control apps like fenced.ai or software in the market with features. Tween It’s a platform where parents can access their tweens' devices without their knowledge. It helps parents to monitor and track every application their child is using. Through these apps, parents can block or restrict their kids from social media apps. Some of the apps also allow access to hidden social media apps.

Try to learn more about the social media app

Before you allow your child to use any social media app, the first thing you should do is to learn about the app yourself. Try to know the appropriate age for the particular social media, its policy, and safety guidelines. For example, if your tween daughter wants to use Snapchat, you should figure out the questions like, "How safe is Snapchat for your tween daughter? Is this app appropriate for my daughter's age? Will there be repercussions for using this app?"

After finding the answers to these questions then you will know if the particular app is appropriate for your daughter or not. Then you can decide to allow or disallow your daughter to use social media

Limit social media use

No adolescent or tweens are allowed to use social media unlimitedly. Several reports are demonstrating how long hours spent online can be damaging to your child's emotional and physical health. Make sure that you have defined rules and limits for your tween. Parents can check their tween social media use through the in-built feature of the screen time in the mobile phone and can limit screen time.

Educate your tween digital etiquette

It’s the most important topic to teach your tween digital etiquette. Make sure you have spoken to your tween about how to handle people online and if an unknown profile is trying to contact you inform us about it. Digital etiquette is an essential component of digital awareness. Educate your tween about the inappropriate content that might appear on social media.

Aware them about cyberbullying

If your tween has a social media account, there is a high possibility of cyberbullying. It’s important to literate your tween about the harmful effects of cyberbullying and how to react if they encounter cyberbullying.

Conclusion

Hence, Social media is a kind of platform or app that is made to be addictive. It’s necessary to make your tween alert about both the negative and positive effects of social media. As per the recent survey, majorities of parents provide digital devices at the age between 7-12 and tween girls are more sensitive than tween boys. Their self-esteem is also low compared to tween boys. So, it’s better to restrict them from using social media, not only for girls but boys also.

If the parents allow it earlier, it might hamper their tween development growth and health. Parents should wait for the right age to allow your tween to have a social media account. It’s important to protect your tween from digital threats. Parental control is the best alternative solution to block those digital threats coming to your tween.


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Sophia Clark

Sophia Clark is a writer from Sydney, kid-lit enthusiast, and mom of three kids who loves to writes about motherhood, parenting, and big feelings.