St. Petersburg child therapist Juli Hindsley suggests ways to appropriately navigate social media safety with your tween.

In the last decade alone, dozens of new social media platforms have hit the market, including TikTok, BeReal, and Twitch. More than half of all TikTok users are between the ages of 10 and 19. And more veteran players like Facebook and Instagram are rolling out new features every day to stay relevant. Whether or not you like it, social media isn’t going anywhere.

So how can you appropriately navigate social media with your tween?

St. Petersburg child therapist Juli Hindsley suggests starting the process off with a conversation, even before there is social media access. She recommends using your social media channels as examples and as a way for your tween to get comfortable and familiar with Facebook, Instagram, or another social media channel.

“Allow them to ask questions, and be sure to show them what is considered is appropriate or inappropriate for social media use,” Hindsley shares.

The St. Petersburg therapist also suggests putting parameters in place before any apps are available for use. Be sure you define how social media usage will be affected by grades, how much parental monitoring will occur, and more – and be clear about those details with your child.

Hindsley adds that social media usage and introduction is specific to every child and dependent on their environment. She recommends talking with parents from your child’s group of friends to see how others are introducing it and to even coordinate introduction of social media.

The Child and Family Therapy Center offers social media and screen time-focused coaching sessions for parents, with specifics designed for individual children and family, so that implementation can be as seamless as possible.

If you have questions or are interested in learning more about St. Petersburg children’s counseling services, visit Child & Family Therapy Center’s contact page.

Social media safety for kids and tweens