Our daughters live in a social media driven world. They use social media, their friends use social media, and let’s be honest, their parents use social media.
While there are plenty of evils that come along with social media, we need to not only know about the social media platforms our daughters are using, but we need to teach them how to use those platforms wisely.
As a high school teacher and mom of teens, I’ve learned a few things over the years about social media. But, new platforms are developed so quickly that it is a huge challenge to keep up. And, no matter how up to date you are, it is so hard to stay on top of everything our girls are doing on social media. But, we have to start somewhere right? So, in light of starting somewhere, here are a few ground rules to consider implementing for your pre-teens and teens, as they begin using social media.
Ground Rules for Daughters
- Only accept friend requests from people you know.
- Don’t reply to direct messages from people you don’t know (on IG and FB you can send direct messages to people you aren’t friends with)
- Mom and dad will have all of the social media platforms you have, and you will be their friend on those platforms.
- Mom and dad will have the right to pick up your device at any time, and view any platform they’d like.
- Social media usage is a privilege, not a necessity. If you abuse it, it gets taken away.
- Don’t post or say anything you wouldn’t want your parents, grandparents, Jesus and your future spouse and children to see.
Ground rules for parents
- Don’t let you child use a social media platform that you are not on.
- Get all of the social media logins and passwords from your daughters, so you can see what they are doing, whenever you want.
- Talk to your daughters openly about: using social media wisely, your own struggles with social media, and the dangers of social media.
- Encourage your daughters when you see them using their social media platforms in a positive way.
- Build some social-media-free time into your family’s weekly schedule.
All of the rules in the world won’t make a difference if you haven’t established a relationship built on trust. Our daughters need to know that we are trusting them with social media, because they have proven trustworthy. They also need to know that we are all learning to live our lives in this new technological landscape, so there might be a few bumps and mistakes along the way. This new world of social media makes presents an new challenge for us, as we seek to raise godly young women. But, it can also be a beautiful platform for the gospel, for goodness and for change.
So, before you banish all social media outlets from your daughter’s life (believe me, I’ve been there a time or two), remember that social media in the hands of a godly young woman can bring beautiful rays of light into this dark, surface level world. It’s our job as moms, to help our girls walk through this social media driven world. And momma’s, this is a hard job. We are the first generation that has had to do this. But, thankfully God promises us wisdom when we ask: even wisdom about how we allow our girls to use social media. So, mama’s, let’s not cease to ask for more and more of that wisdom. We can’t know everything, protect from everything or keep up with everything. However we can beg our Father, who loves our girls more than we ever could, to lead us as parents, and to lead our daughters as gospel influencers.