Building social media family connections is now easier than it has been in the past. Families are able to stay in touch and actually build social media family connectionsrelationships through social media. Parents are now connecting  with their children through social media family connections. To keep balance in family communications, it would be a good idea for parents to not be overbearing yet safely monitoring family's activity on social media.

    Becoming a friend on your child's social media websites can be a great way for you to be involved with their life. It can also be negative if not done correctly. Children want to be close to their family yet it doesn't mean that parent should become an active buddy on social media with them. Let them have monitored freedom.

    Why should families consider building social media family connections as part of their communication?

    I feel that it would be good for families to look at social media as a way to build relationships. According to Brigham Young University, teenagers who connect with family through social media feel closer in real life. Parents, being involved in your child's life is good and yes you can gain a better understanding of them by connecting on social media. Below are some of the benefits to communicating with family through social media are:

    • A closer connection– Children share more freely on social media. Be sure that you post positive things for your family.
    • Open communication – Sometimes it can be hard for a family to communicate. Social media can open up the lines of communication. Even though it is not face to face, you are forming connections.
    • Building relationships – Letting your family know that you are there and available for them is a great step in building relationships. Liking and sharing their posts offers encouragement.

    What tips do you have for parents to help them prepare for integrating social media into their family communication?

    Social media  family connections can be tricky. Since social media is real time communication you must truly think about what you are posting and how you are communicating with your family. You do not want to end up alienating family members by turning them away with invasive or derogatory comments. When communicating with family through social media there are a few things you should keep in mind:

    • Posting guidelines – Do not embarrass your kids! Think about what you post and do not get too personal.
    • Monitor activities – You do not have to respond to everything, but it is important to monitor your child's social media activities.
    • Etiquette rules – The same rules apply to your children as they do with anyone else. Be respectful of your families feelings.

    How do parents balance freedom and safety when dealing with social media for the family?

    We all want a close family then social media family connections can not be overlooked in building that closeness. Parents must balance their child's freedom with their safety. When using social media to managing your family communication, remember to monitor your child's social media accounts and be willing to talk with them about your concerns away from social media. Following these tips for effective communication within your family can be very helpful through social media.

    • Monitor without involvement – You do not have to comment on everything. Your child likely knows your feelings and their is no reason to cause trouble over posts you may not agree with.
    • Intervention plan – Think about how you will handle the situation when you need to intervene. Remember to remain calm and be direct with your concerns.
    • Have fun – Share funny pictures or I am thinking about you posts. Make social media a fun way for your family to communicate. Don't hang out all your dirty laundry. Keep it social and fun.

    Social media connections can improve family communications if you take an active roll. Keep in mind that your children have their own opinions, likes and dislikes. Even if their opinion may not the same as yours, it does not mean they are wrong. Use social media to gain insight into your family and keep the lines of communication wide open.

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