ASK MUM & DAD

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Parenthood -

Mum and dad an­swer all your ques­tions about par­ent­ing. They may not al­ways agree but they’re al­ways full of ad­vice. If you have a ques­tion, send it to kids@time­out­malaysia.com. Dear Mum & Dad, My ten-year-old daugh­ter keeps ask­ing if she can get onto some form of so­cial me­dia like In­sta­gram, Snapchat and Face­book. I’ve said ‘no’ re­peat­edly, but she keeps ask­ing and whin­ing that all her friends have it and that I’m ‘the worst mum in ever’. Should I give in? Al­most giv­ing in, Malacca

MUM:

No. Ten is too young. There’s so much in­for­ma­tion, im­agery, bad ad­vice and the en­tire Kar­dashian clan with their lip kits and waist train­ing which girls at an im­pres­sion­able age should not be privy to. They have all the time in the world to get sul­lied by so­cial me­dia. Par­ents should know that In­sta­gram, for ex­am­ple, has a min­i­mum age re­stric­tion of 13 for good rea­son. The prob­lem is that at ten, a kid doesn’t re­ally un­der­stand that one seem­ingly in­no­cent post or con­tact with the wrong person can cause prob­lems. Tell her to ask you again in two years.

DAD:

Even though I’m not keen on so­cial net­works, I do un­der­stand that this is the norm now. Yes, ten is prob­a­bly a bit young but if you sit her down and lay down some ground rules, ex­plain what pri­vacy set­ting are, to think very care­fully about what they post on­line, and to al­ways keep in­for­ma­tion pri­vate, maybe. The most im­por­tant thing is to have ac­cess to your kids’ pages and ac­counts to keep an eye on them and con­duct dam­age con­trol if need be. Bet­ter to be a bit le­nient so they don’t go be­hind your back and do it any­way. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and trans­parency is very im­por­tant.

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