Dear Savvy Cyber Kids,

Help! We decided to give our 10-year-old a phone and things have quickly gotten out of hand. Our child has created multiple social media accounts and has used their real name on the accounts (even after discussing this type of activity with them). We would like to hit reset, start over with a clean slate for our child. Your guidance is greatly appreciated!

Thanks for asking for help! We are grateful you reached out! While every family situation is different, here is general guidance you can follow to “start over” with your child and their phone use. Know that when you give your child a phone you must parent your child AND their device as they grow up with the good and bad related to their technology use. Guiding your child to make appropriate decisions when using the technology they love will help set them up for success.

Step 1 – Create Family Technology Use Expectations

  1. Select the items on this list that are appropriate for your specific situation (you can always redo these expectations as your child matures):
  2. Review the technology use expectations with your child so they can understand why you selected the items you did.

Step 2 – Clean Up Online Presence

  1. Gather a list of all the accounts your child has created. Google is your friend. Also, ask your child what accounts they setup and then go through every app on their phone to see which accounts they “forgot” about.
  2. From the list, identify the accounts you want to retain.
  3. For the accounts you want to retain, clean up privacy settings, account details, and profile pictures
  4. From the list, identify the accounts you want to delete.
  5. Follow process for each app or site to delete account.

Step 3 – Setup Parental Controls as appropriate

Step 4 – Engage in the TechTalk daily with your child

  1. Use our daily conversation starters that are posted on Savvy Cyber Kids social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) to engage with your child.
  2. Signup for our weekly cyber ethics news feed email to get relevant articles emailed to you once a week to use as conversation starters with your child:
  3. Keep the conversation going!!

Savvy Cyber Kids educates and empowers digital citizens, from parents and grandparents, to teachers and students. Sign up for our free resources to help you navigate today’s digital world with cyber ethics. See more cyber safety and cyber ethics blogs produced exclusively for EarthLink. Looking for a social media parental control? Try a 30-day free trial of Bark. If you sign up after your trial, Bark donates 25% of your monthly fee to Savvy Cyber Kids.

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