By Craig Gross
This week’s Panic Button Podcast question is a fun one: “How do I monitor my kid’s social media?”
There’s a bigger conversation here than just porn.
Take Instagram, for instance… even though the platform doesn’t technically allow porn, it does slip through. And regardless of technicalities, there is still more risqué stuff to swipe through than anything that was easily available to me as a kid.
As a parent, you can never forget that your responsibility as a parent is… to parent. So, you might be trying to monitor something for your child that shouldn’t even be an option right now. Personally, I think that – if you’re not old enough to begin to understand or know who you are – you’re not old enough to post on social media.
We, as humans, seem not only to love bad things, but also to love to bring attention to them. We’re living in a world where our kids are going to be praised for bad behavior. Frankly? They’re going to be rewarded for posting slutty photos.
Oftentimes, our kids simply aren’t prepared or responsible enough to use the things we put in front of them… like a phone that’s also a pocket-computer with the entire world available at the click of a button. If you’re worried about what your kid is doing on social media, don’t forget that you’re the parent. You still have the ability to monitor – or completely restrict – their use of it.
At this point, it’s not enough to excuse your absence in this conversation simply because you don’t understand something like Instagram or Snapchat. That’s a problem. Start understanding what this stuff is. Be involved. Talk about it. Use these learning opportunities for both you and your children. And sometimes… if it comes to it, you just have to put your foot down and say no. That’s okay.
Get involved, pay attention, and – sometimes – say “no” to your kids.
But also, tell them why you’re saying no.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THIS PODCAST EPISODE
- As a parent, you can never forget that your responsibility as a parent is… to parent.
- You might be trying to monitor something for your children that shouldn’t even be an option yet. I would ask myself, “Should we even be allowing this right now?”
- We, as humans, seem not only to love bad things, but also to love to bring attention to them.
- We’re living in a world where our kids are going to be praised for bad behavior. Frankly? They’re going to be rewarded for posting slutty photos.
- Social media has given us the ability to be people we are not.
- Some people just want attention. The Westboro Baptist “God Hates Fags” people would all go away if we just stopped responding to them.
- My son at 15 says, “Dad, I get it now.” He sees the things his friends post on Instagram and he gets now why we’ve held back on giving our kids access to social media.
- Get involved, pay attention, and say no to your kids sometimes. But tell them why you’re saying no.