MAMAS! If your kid has ever said something to you or about you that you would not like shared with people around the world then it’s time to stop posting ANYTHING about them on social media without their permission. Yes. Yes it is.
Go ahead, argue, rationalize, discuss current trends, food groups, age appropriateness and kid psychology and all the exceptions you think you deserve. Then consider how you would have liked your parents to treat you if you were growing up in an era of “everyone look at me!”
Seriously. Go on.
Think about all your luggage and tough learnings of life as a 13YO just sitting there on the open market. Swirling around the baggage claim of comparison for all to see. Or maybe just think about how well all the kid reality TV stars of the 90’s are doing today. Whichever. Just Pause and – Think. About. It.
Here’s what I thought when I did this recently (after a sweet honest friend encouraged me!): My kids don’t need or want their potential bosses, dates, teachers and friends getting to know them through the eyes of their Mom. When I share about their life choices without their permission, I steal their voice, lessen their purpose, deflate their trust in me and worst of all, I create an incredibly unhealthy, unsustainable sense of identity in them based on a censored reality from strangers on the other side of a screen not controlled by them. That was a big sentence. Read it again: You create an unhealthy, unsustainable sense of identity in them based on a censored reality from strangers on the other side of a screen not fully controlled by them. This is a sure fire recipe for depression, loneliness and a continual struggle for real unconditional love.
Because I believe the longer we stay in the problem, the bigger and more difficult it becomes, here is what I’m going to do about it:
1: Give my kids full access to what I share (and have shared), sit and talk about it with them and delete anything that makes them uncomfortable. If you want to keep it for memory sake use the “just me” setting on the security and then only you can see it – like a scrapbook. Totally cool. Again, full disclosure to your kids.
2: Decide when they are old enough to create their own online reputation. Probably when they are managing real time, more important things like friendships, school, God, accountability, money and family pretty well. Then let them try it out. Keep close watch on it, Mamas! Require they “friend you” and release more freedom as they earn it. Explain the consequences of emotional, impulsive posts and role model behavior you want to see in them.
LADIES! We cannot NOT do this for our kids.
All those multivitamins, all that homework, all those baths and haircuts and clean socks and deep breaths will all go down the drain if you don’t think about this stuff! Teaching them responsible social media at the right time can honestly save their soul, their future, their happiness and their life.
I believe, if you do not do these two things your children will grow angry and resentful of you and worst of all, begin to exclude you from their lives. The truth hurts, I know, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Ask, talk, approve in the why of your shares, according to your family values, then go for it. There is much joy and goodness and fun to be found on the internet when you are first living right in your own living room.
Changes for me start today.
LOVE & SERVE AND DIG DEEP!