Parent coach has tips for parents dealing with kids and social media

- It's a struggle most parents are faced with: how to keep track of what kids are doing online, and how to keep them safe.

More and more kids are being exposed to social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 94 percent of teens ranging from the ages of 13 to 17 own a desktop or laptop computer, and 76 percent of them own a smartphone.

As technology is here to stay, some parents are trying to find ways to set boundaries. Some have even suggested that social media be regulated, much like alcohol and tobacco.

But is that the answer?

"Social media is easy and convenient and in your hands at times, but it's not unlike other outlets for kids. You have to pay attention to it. Drugs alcohol, whatever. Like, you got to stay on it," said one man.

"I don't want to cut them off from everything it actually does offer, because it does offer quite a bit," said another man. "But with everything it offers, there is also some significant dangers out there that they need to be aware of."

As social media is everywhere, kids are attached to their computers and other smart devices more than ever before, becoming susceptible to the pitfalls of social media in the process.

"The teenage brain is designed to seek excitement," said parent coach Lisa Smith. "To pull away from their parent and pull towards their peers." 

That's why most parents fear the internet, and Smith said it's important to have an open conversation with kids.

"When we see kids do things we don't quite understand, really, open that conversation up to what are you trying to achieve here," said Smith. "What feeling are you going for? What are you looking for? And you can gather a lot of information about what's going on in your child's or teenager's head."

And getting the answers from your child will help calm the fears.

"Joining the movement and being proactive about it is always helpful," said Smith. "I recommend as parents, we learn as much as we can."

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