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Teens in our Social Media World: The 3 Ways To Teach Your Kids How To Use Social Media - Part 1

I had a conversation with a parent this week that reminded me that NONE of us currently parenting are equipped to parent kids in this social media age. How you were parented is outdated for what your kids need today. This is the first generation being raised with social media at their fingertips.

Here’s some crazy stats from Pew Research Center:

  • Kids under the ages of 8 are on a cell phone an average of 50 minutes a day

  • Kids ages 8-12 are on cell phones an average of 6 hours per day

  • Teenagers are on their cell phones an average of 9 hours per day

You know media isn't a bad thing in and of itself. How we use it and teach our teens to enjoy it will determine whether it plays a good or bad role in our lives. After my conversation, I sat down with my bullet journal to jot down some thoughts:

How We Model It For Them

  • Don’t let social media become an idol for you or your kids

  • Let’s not assume there isn’t a problem with ourselves or our kids. Do you know how much you are on your phone daily? Check your phone usage stats and hold yourself accountable.

Here’s a test with your kids “Have them delete their social media app for a day, if they respond strongly against it, you might have a problem”.

  • Find out if social media hurts or helps their friendships.

  • You must be frequently checking their phones.

  • We can’t say to the kids, give me your phone it has become an idol for you if it’s an idol for us.

    • Teach your kids the word around what an idol is

  • If you keep yourself as the only authority you are limiting impact with your kids, include God’s authority in the conversation by using scripture.

  • If I’m holding my kids accountable then I must be disciplined.

It’s important to create some boundaries

  • Never take phones in the bathroom or bedrooms.

  • They must have their phones out where there’s accountability.

  • They have to put their phones in a certain place at the end of the day.

  • Certain parts of the day they don’t use their phones at all.

  • We have open access to any phone in the family, everyone needs accountability.

Harvard business study found that when someone is focused on doing their work and get distracted, it takes 17 minutes to get back to the same level of focus they were at before being distracted.

  • Most people are in a mode of constant distraction and never getting to the greatest level of focus.

  • Social media can cause shorter attention spans.

  • We believe your kids should get on social media at some point, but only ones that you are on for accountability.

  • Model how to use social media tools.

  • Accountability furthers a strong parent/kid relationship.

  • You have to know your kid and what they are able to handle in determining what age they should get on social media.


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