Saturday, January 24, 2015

Social Media Tips for Parents

For new mommies and toddler mommies, the internet is full of bloggers and advice. But the "Mommy Bloggers" seem to disappear when their children are older. It's easy and fun to share advice and beautiful pictures of adorable children when children are young. But as the children get older, the consequences of their actions are more serious and permanent, especially when it comes to social networking and the use of technology.

My girls love to use technology and are quite adept at using many programs. On a regular basis, Natalia and Alexia make videos for school assignments and submit a large majority of their work online through the paperless Google Classroom. The girls also enjoy using technology for personal use. 

With everything from laptops, Chromebooks, Kindles, and phones in their possession, the best decision that I made was to establish ground rules for using technology before giving these items to the girls. It has worked well for me and the girls are learning how to use technology appropriately and safely. 

Here are the four guidelines that are in place in my home to help educate and protect my daughters in the wild world of social media in 2015. 

1. Lights Out at 8 p.m. My mother always said that it was not appropriate to make or receive phone calls after a certain time of night. Since the majority of the socializing that teens do today takes place on social media, it makes sense to establish times when this socializing can take place. The girls do not make or receive texts, emails, or messages after 8 p.m. when I collect the electronic devices and charge them. I do have to say that when they wake up in the morning, the girls have quite a few messages and notifications. It gives me peace of mind to know that Natalia and Alexia get a good night's sleep that is not interrupted by the glow of a screen.

bamboo charging station
Bamboo Charging Station
2. Nothing is Private. Everything that is texted, messaged, or posted online is a permanent record that serves to paint a picture of the author. I emphasize the importance of carefully considering things that they post or share online. The litmus test that I have for my girls is the "Nana" test. If they wouldn't be proud to show the picture, message, or post to their Nana, then it should not be posted. Today's texts influence future college scholarships and job opportunities. I try to be an example to my girls through my own use of social media and allow them to see everything that I post.

3. Talk with People. While it is important to use technology in a mature, appropriate manner, I believe that it is more important to build relationships in-person. The girls are not permitted to use technology during family meals or special events when they should be cultivating personal relationships face-to-face. Ever since my girls were able to speak, I emphasized the importance of making eye contact and having conversations with others.

4.  Be Kind and Respectful. Self respect is an important characteristic that teens need in order to survive the social media jungle. Natalia and Alexia know that I monitor their posts every night and must notify me if they change their password. I expect them to respect themselves and others, avoiding negative comments and hurtful online activities.

lilly pulitzer print quote

With education about the proper use of social media and a balance of other extra curricular activities, events, and experiences, teens build relationships and self-esteem in a positive environment.

Some of the Prohibited Apps in My House
- Vine
- Snapchat
- Kik
- Tinder

Look for another installment to this blog post that will include my favorite apps for students that will help them to be successful in school as well as something that everyone needs to do right now!

Happy Saturday!


  1. You are so right! Everyone has their opinion to use cloth diapers or how to survive toddlers. And you know what, what ever they decided will be okay. The children will quickly be potty trained and the toddlers will stop coloring on the walls. People do drop family or children blogging once their kids pass early elementary ages. And that is when it gets tough. You know enough to protect your kids from the seen dangers in your own home but it is protecting them from the unseen dangers when they are older that communication to them and other parents is essential. You can greatly learn from others what to look for and where.
    I have two tweens 10 and 11.5 and they are fully into electronics, they love them. I am very over protective over them. We have lots of rules. First of all they can not use ipods or "fun" computer games during the week. They can use email or instagram but as soon as they wanted those they also lost interest in them :) They each have an iphone but like you my mother had no calling after 8 in our home too I have kept that with my kids as well as myself. They are allowed to play educational computer games during the week but are never allowed to surf youtube. They often tell me I am unfair and their friends can play them when they want. I have seen some of thoes friends waste days, weeks on mindless mindcraft. Their parents not caring either. I wont have it. I have time limits and they have to earn those time limits too. I love technology and being on the internet but I love kids being outside playing, playing with each other in or out, and spending time as a family more.
    There is so much ahead of me because I only have heard of one of your banned apps. I can't wait to hear more!

    1. You're a good mom! I think that limiting game time is a smart move, too. Too much of anything on a screen is not good. It is amazing to me that there are parents don't monitor what their children are doing online. Some of the things people post are quite shocking!



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