How to protect our teens from social networks

All you need to tell them to reassure you and make sure they will network safely. And become a super-parent moderator. Seven tips from Beatrice Copper-Royer, clinical psychologist and co-founder of the e-childhood website.

1. Insist that this does not become an exclusive activity. At their age, they do not see the time pass. But they must also work. And devote moments to family exchanges. So, no laptop at the table (no question of strumming on their smartphone to watch their Facebook wall) and no meal in 5 minutes.

2. Remind them tirelessly that this is a public space because it's never acquired once and for all. Intimacy and modesty are the order of the day. And insist: what is online escapes them forever.

3. Have them think about the consequences of what they publish. Ask them, for example, to imagine the emotions they would feel if someone insulted or debated them on the web. They must understand that you can not say anything and everything with impunity, that everything is not "funny" and that gossip is a crime. Do not hesitate to tell them that social networks are a sounding board.

4. Respect their private area. Accept not to know everything and control everything. Do not be friends with them on Facebook. They need to keep their parents at bay to build a new adult identity. Besides, even if they accept you as a friend, they are smart enough to create another Facebook page under a nickname to which you will not have access.

5. Ask them. Feel free to come back to the charge: "Why is this so important to you?" Does not this need to be popular on social networks reflect insecurity? Help them think things, think. Teens are more in action than in thinking.

6. Analyze your apprehensions. What do you really fear? The temptation of transgression is inherent in adolescence. Social networks allow you to discover a facet of your teen that you would have ignored before. In a way, the more we know, the more we are afraid. About what ? Maybe to think of them other than as little children and see them escape.

7. Remind them that you are always a possible recourse whatever happens. If they feel trapped or harassed, that they do not hesitate to solicit you, you will help them out of the bee-eater. The website of the Ministry of Education to fight against bullying at school can give you answers. Do not hesitate to consult it.

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