social media basket

Hey Friends —

One of the hardest challenges for me as mom has been navigating social media— especially with my gang.

My Gang

As you know, John and I are blessed with 4 kiddos— ages 13, 14, 15 & 22.

Most of our daily conversations go something like this, or so it seems:

  • “Phones away, please.”
  • “Ahem. Phones away.”
  • “I said, ‘Put your phones away.'”
  • “No screen time until your chores are done.”
  • “If I see your phone one more time, it’s gone for a week.”

Am I the only one?!

I’ve spent much time studying, implementing, reworking, praying, talking to other moms, pinning, & praying more. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

3 Tips for Surviving Social Media with Kids

1. Set Boundaries

My rule for the kids & their friends: Everyone is welcome, but check your IPod/iPhone at the door.

My rule for the kids & their friends: Everyone is welcome, but check your IPod/iPhone at the door.

If clear boundaries are not set, my kids would text/watch Youtube videos/face time all day long. AHHHH!

Boundaries we’ve set include:

  • Time limits (chores first, limited time, etc.)
  • No technology in bedrooms
  • Phones/iPods go in Mom’s basket when friends come over (have you ever noticed you’ll have 4 kids together and they’ll all be texting each other rather than talking.) Crazy!
  • Sign a Social Media Contract. I found a great one here. (You can download it for free.)
  • Passwords must be known by a parent at all times, and yes, I will check, read, be in your business, and stalk you on-line. Get used to it. 🙂

2. Stay Involved

As I mentioned, yes, I read their texts, posts, Instagram pictures, etc. I am that mom.

It drives my kids crazy—but, yes, I do stalk my children.

I’ve also found it very helpful to discuss social media with other involved moms to learn about apps to stay away from, websites to watch out for, etc.

untitled1We’ve also been having a lot of family time to discuss “hot topics” like cyber-bullying, porn, internet crime, and more.

In fact, last year over ice cream we read this book together as a family. Good stuff!

What ways have you found work best to stay involved with what your kids are doing on-line? I’d love to learn from you too!

 

3. Share Kindness

In our  “selfie generation,” (read this!) I’m trying to survive social media by reminding my gang to use social media for good.

Rather than only playing games and taking selfies, I remind my kids to share kindness through social media. I’m asking,

grandma rule“Who can you encourage? How can you be helpful to someone today? In what ways can you spread joy?”

And yes, they usually roll their eyes at me—but I’ve also seen them leave some group chats that were headed south quickly.

And remember “The Grandma Rule”: “If you wouldn’t show it, say it, or text it to grandma, don’t post, type, or send it!”

 

Additionally, I’ve learned I need to model healthy social media skills myself.

Screenshot 2014-07-19 00.31.19I can’t remind my gang of time limits and then text away all day myself. I must also set boundaries and limits — and then stick to them!

For more Social Media Strategies with Kids, check out my Pinterest page here.

Your turn, friends!

How are you navigating the ever-changing world of social media, especially with our children?

Are there apps you’ve found to be helpful— or not so much — with your kids?

Do you set time limits or boundaries? Stalk your kids on-line? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks so much for stopping by, sweet friend! Have a wonderful, joy-filled week!

CindyBultema_Signature

 

 

 

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