Nurturing Healthy Digital Citizens: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts for Parents

social media apps
February 17, 2023

Is it okay to monitor your children’s online activity and Social Media accounts? Our goal as parents is to raise happy well-adjusted children. To help them learn to navigate this information age we need to talk openly and frequently with our children and help them develop rules guidelines, and healthy habits. 

Controlling every aspect of their online life won’t teach our children how to make good choices. They also won’t learn good habits from having free reign without consequences. The answer?  We need to start small, with closely regulated online activity and gradually add privileges and access as our children demonstrate they are ready. 

Here are some do’s and don’ts from S3 Technologies to help guide you.


  • Talk to your children about Social Media  
  • Model appropriate, healthy Social Media Habits  
  • Develop rules with your children about Social Media. They should follow the do’s and don’ts and not create accounts without permission.
    • Print off an “online contract” to help you start a healthy discussion with your child.
    • Explore Common Sense Media for contracts, discussion ideas, research, and videos. 
  • Make your child earn devices and screen time through demonstration of responsible behavior remind them that technology is a PRIVILEGE!
  • Download an app like Checky to begin to teach children to monitor their online behavior and screen time.  
  • Share an Apple ID with your children.  
  • Enable Find My iPhone or use an app like Life 360 or Ignore No More to know where your children are. 
  • Limit screen time  
  • Use apps such as Dinner Time or Screen Time Parental Control to help enforce limits on screen time and promote healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Charge devices in a central location (not your child’s room) overnight.  
  • Enforce a “screen time” bedtime at least 2 hours before bedtime.  
  • Use family plans (Apple, Microsoft, Kindle, Hulu, Netflix) which allow you to set up child and parent accounts. These will allow you to control and access your children’s accounts. Quickly check activity and usage.  
  • Consider using software such as Qustodio or Net  Nanny to monitor Windows PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.
  • Sit with your child and Google your child’s name. Discuss the results. “What assumptions could a high school/college counselor/employer make about you from this search?” 
  • Slowly allow students (over the age of 13) to monitor Social Media accounts. Introduce Social Media one at a time.
    • Set up the account with your child to ensure they choose an appropriate screen name, set up privacy and location settings, and are old enough to have the account.  
  • Investigate your child’s social media activity and let them know that you do (and why!).


  • “Outlaw” all Social Media accounts forever 
  • Allow free reign on Social Media without supervision.

Food for Thought

  1. Most Social Media accounts are for persons ages 13+ in compliance with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). Goal: Protect your child’s information and identity!
  2. FINSTA- second Instagram account many students have that is blocked or private (often from parents).
  3. Children can “block” you so that you can’t see their account if you search it. To find your child’s accounts use websites such as:
    1. PeekYou
    2. Social Searcher

Time-out from Tech

Do Not Disturb on iPhone:

Once you and your child have developed guidelines for use, sit with them and set up their Do Not Disturb  Settings. They can set a custom message so their friends know that they aren’t reachable. As your children get older encourage them to set their Do Not  Disturb While Driving to Automatically.

  1. Settings  
  2. Do Not Disturb  
  3. Do Not Disturb While Driving  
  4. Set Activate to: Manually  
  5. Set Auto-Reply to All Contacts  
  6. Edit your Auto Reply Message (Note: An additional text will follow your custom message  that explains that texts including the word “urgent” will break through Do Not Disturb)  
  7. Put your Do Not Disturb on your control center screen for quick access.
    • Settings, Control Center, CustomizeControls, Add Do Not Disturb While Driving 
  8. Turn on Do Not Disturb and Unplug!

Unplug Activity Ideas

April 30-May 5 is Screen-Free Week. Plan on participating visit screenfree.org for more information and participation details.

Need some ideas on what to do without screens? Check out: 

  • Bake or cook with your kids
  • Clean out closets and take items to a local charity
  • Go for a hike
  • Walk your dog(s)
  • Read a book together!
  • Build something together
  • Ride bikes
  • Draw on the sidewalk


Research on the Effects of Social Media on Student Academics: Bottom Line? Teaching children to use social media responsibly and for learning can increase test scores. 

Paving the Way for Positive Digital Experiences

We at S3 Technologies believe that fostering a safe and responsible digital environment for children is paramount in today’s technology-driven world. As a leading advocate for digital safety, We support the idea of finding a balanced approach that combines effective monitoring, open communication, and gradual empowerment. 

As parents, our active involvement in monitoring their online activities ensures their well-being and safety while they learn to navigate the vast and ever-changing world of social media and the internet. We play a crucial role in equipping them with the tools they need to make informed decisions and develop healthy online habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

At TechU, we work towards the common goal of raising well-adjusted children who can confidently navigate the information age while staying safe, respectful, and responsible online. Together, we can build a digital world that enriches the lives of our children and prepares them for a successful future in the digital era.


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