A parent's guide to Instagram has been released - and here's why it's important

The most popular social media brand in the world has launched a parent's guide to promote social media safety with teens and children.

Social media continues to rise being more accessible than ever. And while many social media companies require account holders to be a certain age, there's no stopping children as young as a primary school age lying about their age and making an account, putting their safety into the hands of the world. 

While social media offers a way to connect and communicate with people, children and teens can also experience challenges such as online bullying and inappropriate messaging. While it can be daunting to enter into the unfamiliar world of social media to protect your child, Reach Out says that, "one of the best ways to understand the issues children face on Instagram is by understanding the platform itself first."

So, to give parents the tools and techniques, Instagram has partnered with the mental health organisation to launch an online guide: aptly titled, A Parent's Guide to Instagram, designed to, "help you to understand Instagram and provide practical tips on how to start a conversation with your young person about managing their privacy, comments and time online."

The 40-page guide provides comprehensive guidelines to help start the conversation with your child or teen, to ensure their safety while using Instagram.

"We understand that it can feel overwhelming to keep on top of what your child is accessing, and to manage how much time they’re spending online," the guide explains.

"At the same time, being socially connected is very important for your child’s development, and social media is part of socialising and connecting with others today."

Broken up into three main chapters: Manage Privacy, Manage Interactions and Manage Time, the document also features important starting points like, "5 tips to help parents support their teen with social media" and "Ten questions to help you talk with your child."

This guide is made for parents with all levels of social media ability, with the first chapter starting at the basics: "What is Instagram?," so every parent or guardian can feel confident in their conversation. 

The guide is available for download now at ReachOut.com/Parents for parents and carers around Australia.

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