This has been an interesting year for schools, students and parents as social media – once the domain of middle school students has crept its way into the small hands of second, third and fourth graders. For years I have observed smartphones being handed down from parents to all-too-eager high school students back in in 2009 — and then to 7th and 8th graders in 2015-2017. As such, I’m amazed that parents now feel it’s a good idea to give devices to children that still require mom or dad to lay out their clothes before school.
This is not to denigrate parents. The Lord knows parents, who already carry enough guilt concerning their balancing of work and family time – don’t need me to point out another possible blunder. Rather, it is to suggest that the brains of children are just developing and that they are not ready to make executive decisions regarding with whom they are befriending and what they are posting. Let’s be honest, if you don’t know how to match a pair of pants and a shirt – maybe shouldn’t have unfettered access to a smartphone on a public network. After speaking to nearly 500,000 people over the past 10 years, I’ve heard too many stories of innocent children being taken advantage of by adults they have met online… even after mom and dad warned them of such matters.
For example: Last month three girls ages, 11, 12 and 13 approached me following a presentation, Each informed me that men had sent them images of their private parts on Tic Tok and Instagram. My thought at the time was, “Where were your parents? Are they managing and monitoring your social media accounts?”
That said, I do understand that parents today feel a need to contact their children about transportation following extracurricular activities and the like. Yet, as I have pointed out in the past on our website, you can make a smartphone a “not so smart phone” with just a little work. However, you can also lessen the burden and that green monster of parental guilt, by considering the four strategies to better manage and monitor your child’s social media activity addressed in this interview by Local12 in Cincinnati.
Remember, with school being soon out of session, there will be even more unsupervised time of your child. If you diligently follow these steps, you be less stressed, less riddled with guilt, and maybe even able to enjoy some quality time with your family – away from that glowing blue screen.
If you have any questions, as always feel free to contact me through the CONTACT US tab at the top of our website.