Parents should monitor their children’s social media habits and behaviour.

Today’s kids use social media more than ever before. Technology has created exciting new opportunities but has pitfalls and presents a host of new challenges for parents and kids.

The culture around new technology promotes behaviour that can be self-revealing before self-reflecting, and creates a host of new privacy and safety issues that can have long lasting and serious consequences for our kids.

As parents, we should have ongoing dialogue with our kids, asking them what’s popular and what they’re interested in. This will help them make smart choices.

Taking a proactive role in his/her complex online life is key.

It’s not just about turning off devices or encouraging responsible use.

It’s about creating a culture of knowing what to say and do when your kid is at risk, monitoring (without spying) and knowing the difference between bullying and “kids being kids”.

As parents and educators, let’s not allow social media to set the rules for how our kids grow and develop.

- Letter by Norman Maake, Tembisa