Christine’s Figured Out How to Let Her Kids Have Social Media
My husband and I have what we feel is a "work in progress" plan when it comes to our boys and their time spent on social media.
On Monday's show, Michael and I got to talking about how our kids are at that age where social media among their friends and classmates in school is at an all-time high. And if they are left excluded from this type of social activity, it could and would make them feel isolated and "left out" of the party, if you will.
As much as my husband and I didn't want our boys (both young teens now) to feel like they were being left out of friendships and circles, we were not about to just throw our hands up and say, "Go for it!" We wanted to make sure that we could still monitor what they were doing online but also give them a small amount of freedom and trust.
So we allow them to have their own private password to their phones. But when we want to take a peek at what they're looking at on YouTube or who their Snapchat and Instagram followers are, we do it. And they know this. They are not allowed on Facebook, but they probably don't really care about that.
If I notice someone I don't know following them on IG or Snapchat, I will ask who it is and if we are not satisfied with the answer they give us, that person no longer follows them. Same goes for who THEY chose to follow and be friends with. We do get the occasional, "C'mon mom!" and the moaning when asked to cough up the phone for us to look at. But, that's the deal and they know it.
Hey, it would be very easy and save a lot of my and my husband's time in a jam-packed day to just not check or pay close attention to what they are doing online and in their gaming time with friends. But we know what a complete disaster that would be and over the years, with families we know pretty well, have seen firsthand the downfall of giving young kids too much freedom on social media, video games and YouTube.
I'm not saying we are doing everything right, but we are navigating as best we can with this and also staying completely plugged into everything our boys are doing. All it takes is constant daily conversations with both of them, dinner together most nights of the week, and our ongoing "family" text chain, as we call it, where we're always chatting about stuff happening and the occasional "mom emoji" that they laugh and roll their eyes at simultaneously. 🙄