Questions to Help Parents Set Social Media Boundaries

Kids today grow up pinning, tagging, posting, and tweeting about their lives.  But what does all this sharing mean for value-based families who desire to keep their kids safe? 

In our recent show “Boundaries and Privacy with Children” my co-hosts and I shared experiences we’ve had setting boundaries and respecting privacy in our own families.   We all agreed being parents “in the know” makes for stronger, safer, and happier families. 

As a mother of one young adult, two teens, and a ten-year-old, I’ve experienced my fair share of boundary and privacy issues, especially in the area of social media.  There’s so much to say on this topic.  In thirty minutes, we could barely scratched the surface.  Something I didn’t have time to share that has helped me teach my family about proper social media usage comes from an article I read on LDS.org.  These broad questions make you pause and think what purpose social media should have in your life, so that your on-line world remains balanced and value-focused. 

The questions are excellent check points to discuss with your kids, again and again.  They’re meant to help families stay “in tune and in balance.”  After all, the social media and digital technology world is anything but balanced!  So, next time you sit down at the dinner table with your family, use these questions as your table-talk.  You can access the questions here.  (https://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/02/keeping-safe-and-balanced-in-a-google-youtube-twitter-facebook-ieverything-world?lang=eng)

Am I using this technology to learn or to teach?

Am I using it to build faith and testimony in myself and others?

Am I using it to entertain in uplifting ways?

Am I giving enough undistracted in-person time to family and friends?

Am I devoting enough time to work, school, church, and physical exercise?

I’ve found that discussing these simple questions with family members, from time to time, helps us set proper boundaries.  After all, any activity left unchecked can become unbalanced.  One mother I spoke to who used these questions said they helped her evaluate honestly her own social media usage.  So, much good can come from just asking you and your family members these questions. 

Some other ideas parents can consider to help manage their kid’s social media usage are as follows:    

· Ask questions (Learn about who your kids are friends with on-line and have open and honest dialogue about who they’re friends with and why.)

· Explain how to keep postings in line with your family’s values. 

· Encourage unfriending or unfollowing someone who doesn’t reflect the same values as your family. 

· Perform random phone checks. 

· Be your child’s social media “friend” (Comment on their posts.  Be a presence in their on-line world.) 

· Teach social media etiquette (Let kids know what your family rules are.)

· Set and reset boundaries (Kids may make mistakes so be offer needed reminders and turn mistakes into teaching moments.)

With love and friendship,

Jodi 

Jodi Marie Robinson is an author of “Precious in His Sight – Seeing yourself as God sees you”, “A Royal Guardian”, and “Women of Virtue.”  She shares ideas on how to share, love, and serve at www.shareloveserve.com and is a co-host for The Living Room show. 

#thelivingroom

#thelivingroomJodi

#shareloveserve

 

 Email me questions and comments at shareloveserve@gmail.com.

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