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Expert Advice

There is now a guide for parents on the positive use of social media

Now this needs a ‘like’ button.

By Fiona Wright
We all know about the negative effects of social media especially for teenagers.
In a digital world where teens look for validation on how many 'likes' a post receives to the risk of online bullying, it's worrying for parents to know how to best manage their child's social media presence.
With its associated cons, social media does have its pros. Being socially connected is important to your child's development as it's how they socialise and connect with others.
Teenagers regularly use social media to bond with friends, keep up with their peers, meet new people, and learn about world events and current affairs outside of their immediate life.
So what's a parent to do?
Well, there's now a guide for this very concern and it's aptly called, A Parents Guide to Instagram.
Developed in partnership with Australia's leading online mental health organisation for young people and their parents, ReachOut, this new Guide also provides support for parents to better understand how young people use Instagram.
From top tips to encourage positive use of social media, to suggested questions which help start conversations with young people — the Guide is designed to equip parents with tools to have better communication with their children.
Teenagers use social media to bond with friends and keep up-to-date on world events. (Image: Getty Images)
The Guide builds on the wealth of information and resources that ReachOut offers parents of teenagers on a whole range of issues.
"The new Guide we've developed with Instagram provides parents with simple strategies to support clear and open conversations with young people about using social media in safe ways," says Ashley de Silva, CEO of ReachOut Australia.
"For many parents, social media can be challenging because it's not something they grew up with, and platforms and safety features are constantly changing. Each year ReachOut Parents provide hundreds of thousands of parents with information, tips and support so that they can help their teenager across a whole range of issues, including the challenges of using social media safely."
Mia Garlick, Director of Policy for Facebook Australia believes online community safety starts with the social media platforms.
"We feel a responsibility to keep everyone in our community safe, especially young people who may turn to their parents for help in using Instagram," explains Mia Garlick.
"We've worked with ReachOut to create a guide that provides parents with more information in order to better understand Instagram and how to talk to their children about it."
Click here to download your copy of A Parents Guide to Instagram.

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