Social media schooling for parents

Workshop aims to teach adults ins and outs of Facebook and Twitter.

Like it or not, the age of social media is here, and parents need to get educated.

That’s the message behind a workshop taking place in Ocean Park this month designed to raise awareness about social media safety and the impact it can have on children and teens.

Sponsored by the Ocean Park Community Association, Social Media & Tweens is hosted by Karina Cebuliak, a social-media marketer, children’s wellness advocate and mother of three “tech-savvy” children aged 7, 12 and 15.

The goal of the April 11 presentation, according to Cebuliak, is not to instill fear in parents about the dangers of programs like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat, rather to educate parents and encourage them to embrace the technology at their children’s fingertips.

“It’s more about empowering parents,” she said. “The digital age is here, our kids are growing up in it, so what do we need to know?”

While the workshop is aimed at parents of tweens (generally regarded as nine to 12 year olds), Cebuliak said she’s encouraging parents of younger children to attend.

“When you put the boundaries in place at a young age it’s so much easier than suddenly having a 12 year old on your hands that you’re trying to (restrict).”

Cebuliak hopes to answer common questions regarding social media and enlighten parents about the mental-health effects certain online socializing can have on youth.

“What is it that kids are getting from social media? What are they connecting to? And what can we as parents do?”

Cebuliak said she plans to donate half of the proceeds of the presentation to the Amanda Todd Legacy Memorial Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Carol Todd following her daughter’s well-publicized suicide in 2012.

The Tweens & Social Media workshop takes place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. April 11 at Ocean Park Hall, 1577 128 St.

Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.tweenssocial.eventbrite.ca