Empowering Parents: How To Prepare Your Kids For Online Comments

digital footprint & identity digital safety digital well-being Jan 03, 2024
Empowering Parents: How To Prepare Your Kids For Online Comments

By Terrence Mccullough, Seasonal PR Intern | Digital4Good


Many kids now dream to become an influencer, just like many of their idols. 


With a plethora of social media platforms like TikTok , Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter, there are many ways for young influencers to show their talents, creativity and personalities to the world. While this is an unique way to inspire young influencers, these young kids may also face the prevalence of hate speech and bigoted racist comments. 


Parents must play a critical role in preparing  kids in this war against hateful and racist comments. As daunting as that sounds, this article provides some  tools to help parents navigate critical conversations with children to prepare them for potentially traumatic comments.


Create An Open Dialogue 

Parents should ensure there is a safe environment so children feel as though they are mutually respected in the conversation. To establish this, start by creating a non judgmental conversation with them about their online experiences. Give them an opportunity to share their concerns and previous interactions, including any hate or racist comments they come across.


Teach Digital Literacy 

In order for them to learn about hateful and racist comments, inform them on the potential prevalence of online hate and racism they could face. For example, according to a study, it was found that “harsh comments have widely been used towards content creators on TikTok. 


Many users tend to use cruel words for their own satisfaction without thinking how the owner of each video will feel after reading it.” Another example to help them understand current events and their impacts would be from a study talking about the increased racism on TikTok after the Buffalo shooting. 


This study found that “The Chinese-owned app’s [ByteDance] quick growth and large, young user base have allowed “white supremacist and militant accelerationist content” to spread rapidly. While the report found that the platform primarily amplifies harmful ideologies, memes and videos related to the Buffalo shooter’s ideology are prevalent”. 


In educating your child on these forms of hateful and racist comments and how they correlate with current events, you can help prepare them and teach them how to respond to these types of comments.


Set Privacy Settings 

It is important for parents to maintain control of who has access to children. Children’s social media accounts should be set to private. This is important especially with TikTok since it allows them to control what comments are put on their video and to filter  unwanted comments.


Report and Block

Show your child how to report and block different users who engage in hateful and racist comments. Always remind children that blocking and reporting users using these kinds of hurtful and bigoted speeches is a great way to create a safe and positive space on their platform. 


In order to report users' comments on Tik Tok, you first Long press the comment that you want to report. Then Select Report and follow the instructions provided by Tik Tok. 


Develop  Resilience

This would be an important lesson for parents to learn in order to help their kids while they are becoming a social media influencer. Help children build a resistance towards hateful comments and assure them that comments often reflect the personal issues of the perpetrator.  


Talk to children about not taking negative comments personally  and  focusing on comments from the people who are positive. As the phrase goes, sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt you.


Seek Professional Help/Support

It is  important for parents to know that if their child is not able to mentally or physically handle the hurtful and negative comments towards them.  If the comments are affecting them, parents should seek out  professional mental health counselors for proper guidance and support.


Bringing it Home

In this world where digital platforms play a significant role in our children's lives, as a parent you have a crucial role to play to help them prepare for online comments by creating open dialogue, setting privacy settings, reporting and blocking, and seeking professional support. With all of these strategies parents can help make sure children are safe on the internet and enjoying themselves while creating their own content.


What Can You Do?

As a parent, your role in guiding your children is very important. That  is why it is also important for you to know what to do to prepare your children for cruel and horrible comments on social media. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Create a safe area for your child
  2. Teach them on digital literacy
  3. Encourage empathy
  4. Set boundaries
  5. Showcase positive role models
  6. Monitor and block
  7. Build a resilience
  8. Foster critical thinking


For more information and support on this issue, go to the Digital4Good + #ICANHELP website,




Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.