By Craig Gross
About This Episode
On my podcast The Panic Button, I get a lot of questions from people who are, well… in a panic. Oftentimes, when you’re in a panic, it’s in response to something.
I don’t get many preventative questions like, “Hey, my daughter’s about to turn 13 and we’re considering letting her on Instagram. What are some concerns that I should be aware of – or precautions or boundaries I should place on my 13-year-old –before I allow her on Instagram?”
Wouldn’t that be a good question? I never get that one.
I get questions like, “My daughter’s posting inappropriate things on social media. What do I do?!?”
The real issue this question boils down to is boundaries.
Are we teaching our kids boundaries and responsibility when we hand them an $800 phone or are we letting them go wild? As a parent, I am shocked that we give our kids these devices but fail to teach them how to use them responsibly.
Here’s what I’d tell this person: you’re the parent, she’s the child.
I don’t care if you’re best friends. I don’t care if you have a best-friend necklace or best friend tattoos.
You’re still the parent. You’re in control.
Your daughter has a curfew. She probably has to get passing grades. Heck, she might even have to do the dishes or be nice to her brother. I mean, there are certain rules we have for our kids because we’re the parents and they’re the children.
So, there are responsibilities that come with giving your kid an $800 toy (like a phone).
It’s not just a kid toy.
In this episode, I share a few rules that I have for my kids about phones and some ideas about how to use those phones to build relationships instead of wasting time and posting things they’ll come to regret.
Kids will be up to no good, not because they’re awful human beings, but they’re kids and they don’t know what we should know as adults. Ease them into this stuff and don’t just give them a device and let them run free. Don’t make them learn the hard way.
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Our Favorite Quotes From This Episode
- You’re the parent, she’s the child. I don’t care if you’re best friends. I don’t care if you have a best-friend necklace or a best-friend tattoo. You’re still the parent. You’re in control.
- I think when we give our kids a phone, the first thing I want to teach them is: this is a tool for me to be able to get ahold of you.
- I’ve seen a lot of families use their iPad as a babysitter at a restaurant, and then their kids don’t know how to look up from the screen for one second to order their food. They don’t know how to communicate, let alone have a conversation or relationship with somebody.
- Our kids are gonna grow up and be out of the house one day and have to make bigger decisions and choices than what app to download. Help them learn to make healthy choices now, so that they can keep making them, then.
- I want you to think twice about what you send to somebody, what you share, and what you post publicly because it’s going to live on the internet forever.
- Don’t feel bad for parenting. You’re the parent and you know what your kids need (and what you need).
- Kids will be up to no good, not because they’re awful human beings, but they’re kids and they don’t know what we should know as adults. Don’t make them learn the hard way.
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