Social media has become more purpose-specific over the past decade. If you want to connect informally, you’ve got Facebook. If you want to connect with people professionally there is LinkedIn. If you want to show off your photography, work or lifestyle there is Instagram and Snap-Chat if you want to send people videos. Finally, if you want to find a partner or someone to date, you’ve got dating and match making apps like Tinder, Bumble and others.
Though dating apps might be the best things for many in the adult population, they might not be the best for our children – minors particularly!
Children and Dating Apps: What’s the Problem?
An article published by The Telegraph online elaborates on how thousands of children under legal age are signing on to dating apps today. Even though dating apps have an over 18 policy across the board, research shows that minors the world over sign on to such applications by overstating their ages online.
Though minors may partake in such behavior out of curiosity or a need to prove themselves to their peers, the resulting consequences are often less than desirable. From exposure to predators and sex offenders to premature sexual interactions with unsuspecting adults, dating apps can be nothing short of deadly for your children!
How to Protect your Children
As a parent, you may be wondering how you could possibly protect your children. Luckily, there are many ways that you can ensure that your children remain safe and protected from dating apps and others directed and designed for the adult population.
As many of us know, if you want your child to do something, all you need to do is forbid them from it without reason. Children are curious creatures and cracking down and restricting them only leads to more curiosity and wonder.
The best way to approach certain matters with young people and children is through open dialog. Talk to them about dating and relationships. Explain to them the difference between what is healthy and what is unhealthy and elaborate on how dating apps are for older people.
Encourage them to talk to you if their peers suggest they sign on to such apps and if they do, don’t be harsh, rather educate them so they know better.
Vigilance and Monitoring
Let’s face it; how many of us did exactly as we were told as children? Not too many. Bearing this in mind, it would be safe to say that your children may also go over your heads and do what they want to if they are curious enough.
Of course you could keep a constant physical check on them but this would only make them feel suffocated, especially if they are teens. A better way to non-intrusively keep track of your children’s social media activity is by using registered phone spy apps.
These phone spy apps are specifically developed for discreet monitoring and tracking of iPhone and android devices. All you will need to do is download the required application, install it and feed in the number of the phone or device you want to track.
The application dashboard that appears on your computer will periodically update you on all activity and interactions made using the target device. This includes updates on messages sent over social media and information about installation of other phone apps (such as dating applications).
This way, you avoid constantly having to nag and pester your children to share their activity with you. At the same time you will have complete access thus allowing you to make sure that all their transactions and interactions online are safe.
Further, you will be notified if any inappropriate dating apps are installed or used.
Parenting involves finding a balance between getting in your children’s way and remaining stringent. If you follow the pointers above, you get to allow your children the freedom they desire while being constantly in the loop with regard to their activities!