Dads, free downloads of popular social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter on your mobile devices can give you additional channels to connect with your children. (Note: Some of these sites restrict registration to those 13 years of age and above.)
However, do have a talk with them about the ground rules of using social media and establish consensus, before adding them to your social network. Becoming a “friend” to your children on Facebook, or a “follower” on Twitter, can give you better a sense of what is happening in their lives and who they are interacting with. There is also a free and separate Facebook Messenger app for download, that you can use to chat with your kids.
Children below the requisite age limit should be discouraged from flouting the rules. Instead, you or your wife could allow them to use your accounts under your close guidance. For more tips, refer to “Fathers on Facebook“.
You can also try having a Twitter account. “Follow” your children and get them to “follow” you too! This is another way you can stay in touch with them through the day. Try using this tool to tune into a global conversations on fatherhood with other fathers by searching for #fatherhood.
Should your children choose to reveal their real time locations on Facebook or Twitter, the app will allow you to keep tabs on where they are hanging out. They may have also registered their locations on other apps such as Foursquare or Gowalla.
Get to know what social media apps your children are using and hop on. Better still, be there first to guide them on the proper use of such social media tools.