How to Monitor Your Teen’s Social Media Without Hovering

digital safety digital well-being parentscanhelp Mar 06, 2024
How to Monitor Your Teen’s Social Media Without Hovering

By: Janiyah Gaston | Seasonal Public Relations Intern | Digital4Good


Social media exposes us to a massive variety of content and people, both good and bad. The vast uncertainty associated with the digital world is a major cause of concern for many parents. How can you ensure your child’s safety when they’re posting messages and photos for friends, classmates, and even strangers to see? 


You may feel tempted to continuously keep tabs on your child’s social media activity, checking every post, message, and login time. However, this constant surveillance can have negative consequences, resulting in reduced trust between you and your child. 


Here are some tips on how to look out for your child while building trust (and saving time).


How to Keep From Hovering

Talk with your child

Have an open conversation with your child about the potential dangers of social media and “red flags” to look out for. Encourage them to only let people they know in real life follow them on social media, and to practice discernment when choosing which accounts to follow.


Trust your child 

This is one of the most important yet difficult parts of the process. Your child may get caught up in the craziness of social media and forget the boundaries they discussed with you. However, if you’ve covered all your bases and equipped your child to use social media responsibly, a little trust goes a long way.


Use parental control apps to check in periodically

These apps can give you tremendous control over your child’s social media activity, but make sure not to go overboard. Set reasonable time limits, check your child’s follower/following lists, and talk with them about social media (how they feel about it, what they like to use it for, etc.).


Recommended apps



Bark allows you to set limits on over 30 different apps, from Snapchat to YouTube. The app runs in the background of your child's device, scanning for threats such as cyberbullying, self-harm, and more. 



Kaspersky Safe Kids not only allows you to monitor where your child is, but also lets you pick out safe areas for your child. You can also see your child’s most-used apps and get a report of their YouTube history. 



Qustodio lets you see who is contacting your child and allows you to block or approve contacts. You’ll receive detailed weekly and monthly reports of your child’s app activity.


While apps like Qustodio can give you significant control over and insight into your child’s social media activity, it is also important to give your child the chance to prove they are responsible. By setting guidelines for them and teaching them what to look out for, you’re already setting them up to be responsible digital citizens!


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