If your child has joined Wattpad without telling you
Only users 13 and older are allowed on Wattpad. If your child is under 13, you should close their account yourself, using their password. Wattpad is unable to close accounts unless you, the parent or legal guardian, reports it using your child's e-mail address.
If your child is over 13, you can decide whether or not to allow them to stay on Wattpad. Here are some good things to ask your kids about any social network they want to join:
- Tell me everything you know about it.
- Why do you want to use it?
- What do you like about it?
- Who would you use it to connect with?
- Who do you know that’s already on it?
You might be tempted to ask your child to give you their login information so that you can keep an eye on what they’re doing. That’s understandable, but keep in mind that it’s easy to create a new account on almost any social network, so spying on kids can just make them keep secrets from you (and keep them from coming to you if they get in trouble.)
What works better is to get their login information and put it somewhere safe, like a piggy bank. Tell them that you won’t be checking up on them all the time but that you reserve the right to do it if you think it’s necessary. Teens actually say that this is what they want from their parents: not to have us constantly looking over their shoulders, but to know that we’re keeping an eye on them and will be there if they need us.
You should also reward good behavior: the more your kids feel you trust them, the more likely they are to trust you not to overreact if they come to you for help.
Here are some questions to ask your kids to make sure they’re ready to be part of Wattpad:
- Can you change our default privacy settings?
- Can you report a comment or a story that breaks the rules?
- Can you stop someone from contacting you?
- Do you know what rules you should follow when you’re online?
- What questions do you ask yourself before you post or share something? (Do they think about what might happen if the wrong people see it? About how it might make other people feel?)
- What would you do if you witnessed someone being harassed online?
- What would you do if somebody posted something that made you mad or scared?
- Do you know what to do if things go really wrong? (Make sure they know that you won’t “freak out” if they come to you with a problem.)
- Do they have another “trusted adult” they can turn to if they’re not able to talk to you?