This is relevant for all ages as social media isn’t going away so they need to be prepared while they are in your home.
Social media isn’t a good or bad thing in and of itself, how we use it will determine whether it’s a good thing or not. The power is in your hands to train them so it becomes only a good thing. We must teach them how to use it wisely and be disciplined.
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
Social media can be addicting like drugs so we need to train them to have discipline over a long period of time
Social media can be incredibly useful as well, make sure we share the positive ways we can use it.
Our kids have a competition going where they try to be on less than each other. They check each other every Sunday afternoon and update us.
The 3 Ways To Teach Your Kids How To Use Social Media
1. 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? It’s usually more then we realize.
- 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, 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.
2. Teach How To Use It
- There is actually etiquette by how to respond to people.
- Keeping in mind they are branding Jesus.
- Walk through their first few posts with them.
- Don’t wait too long, you want them to live with you at least several years to work with them while they are in your home.
- Teach them about messages as well, because they will get weird things. They should know what to respond to and not, if someone hits on them they should bring it to you and ask how to respond to them.
- Initially we insist our kids social media accounts are private
67% of teenagers know how and actively trick their parents on what they are actually using their phones for.
3. Monitor And Mentor
- This is where so many parents become naive. “My kids are good, they are doing fine” and don’t continue to monitor.
- Raising confident Christian kids for an uncertain world takes equipping, you must equip by being an ongoing part of their social media experience.
- Without your help, your kids are prey to bad people. If you help them and have the right relationship, they aren’t.
- On the positive side, social media is an incredible way to impact the world. Why wouldn’t we equip our kids with the positive aspect of it?
- Make sure it doesn’t replace the real-life interactions with people.
- They need to know what God’s word says about Biblical friendships.
- If your kid has a difficult time having any friends, social media will increase the feeling isolation. If your kids have lots of friends it’s probably fine.
- The answer is truly engaging your kids to teach them how to have real-life friendships first and most importantly. How are your kids doing with this?
- How will your kids do what God wants for them if they are distracted from the enticements of the world?
- FOMO, fear of missing out, is a real challenge for parents and kids.
- Use scripture in your conversations with your kids.
Producers Versus Just Consumers
- You don’t want your kids to be just watching other peoples lives.
- You want them to believe they can have an impact now!
- This also experientially teaches them not to be ashamed of the gospel. If they never proclaim their faith on social media, they are probably ashamed.
- Teach them that they can be an encouragement to all ages as well.
- They will experience that they have a voice.
What do you need to work on?
- In being an example?
- In equipping your kids?
- Setting boundaries?
Scriptures In This Episode
1 John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
James 3:1 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
1 John 2 ” And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. “
Matt 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
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