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So much of parents' fear around social media use comes from this fear that their kids' lives will be ruined forever.
And we see that a lot of times online where people make poor decisions, and then their lives are affected in pretty dramatic ways.
But I think it's important to step back with kids and help them understand, "How can you be more intentional about how you're spending your time online?" and "How can you align those with your values?”
The smartphone was only really released about 10 or 12 years ago, so all these apps are new for parents as well.
Kids are going through some treacherous terrain when it comes to technology and social media use.
But we also need to understand that they're using technology for some positive things - learning, understanding, communicating.
When we do that, we become more open to helping kids in an objective way that protects them from some of the detrimental, draining, and dangerous things that may happen online or in real life.
So where do I start?
What do I do?
The first is this idea of developing awareness.
Learn what apps your kids are using.
Learn how to use them.
Download them on your phone.
And then, you can come from a framework that's more objective, rather than coming from a place of fear and telling kids they can never use something.
The second thing is creating opportunities for daily and weekly digital detox.
Taking kid's phones and devices away at night can be a really easy way to do this.
And a lot of times kids will tell me, "You know, I don't want to tell my parents this, but I'm really grateful that they take my phone away at night because then I can tell my friends I'm not available after a certain hour.”
Otherwise, it becomes this feeling of always online, always having to react.
And kids don't want that either.
But they don't really know how to effectively self-regulate.
And the third thing is helping kids figure out their why.
Why you're reaching for your phone?
Or why you're posting?
Or why you're taking so many photos when you're with friends?
The idea is really to help kids identify and understand what is energizing for them and what is draining.
They have a choice in how they spend their time online.
They can opt into experiences and opt out.
And that's a really empowering message.
And once they're given permission and understanding that they have choices, they actually start making really good ones that are in line with their own personal values.
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The Problem with Parents, Kids, and Social Media

2118 Folder Collection
Ingrid published on October 14, 2019    Ingrid translated    Steve reviewed
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