Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Go Ahead, Be "That" Mom: Friend Your Kids' Friends Through Social Media

OK~ I cannot stress to all of you how important it is to keep an eye on your children's social media accounts. Just this past week I received a message from a friend who thanked me for encouraging her to follow and friend her son's friends on social media. Her son is in 6th grade...... 6th grade is that age where a lot of kids are not old enough to be on social media. Kids are supposed to be 13 years old to have a Facebook account. Yet, in all reality many of us know that kids will set up these accounts with or without their parents knowledge.

I struggle with this a lot. Would someone tell me why parents will give their children a $700 mini computer (smart phone) and complain about $10 a month to monitor their children's online activities? In my friend's case, the parents of this sixth grader did not know that their son was engaging through social media. This particular case was a life or death situation. This sixth grader was sharing on Instagram how he had been bullied, how he had been the bully, and why he wanted to kill himself. Thankfully, my friend knew she had to be an upstander, not a bystander with a phone call to the boys parents.

This is another example of how sixth graders are using social media. Sure, they are posting pictures of themselves and things through Instagram, but what I learned from all of this was the fact that our kids are using social media to reach out for help. Instagram is a photo app, so suicidal messages are not something that we immediately look for on Instagram. There was a stock photo, cartoon like character posted with his lengthy post on Instagram.

I later learned that this 6th grade boys parents did not know what Instagram was, how to access it, or get a screen shot. If you are a Facebook user, you will notice that our kids are not hanging out there a whole lot. They are hanging out where Mom and Dad are not.

Parents, step up your game by friending, following, and engaging with your kids online. Be a friend of your kids' friends online- they may need to thank you later on in life for saving their life. I am so grateful that my friends quick actions saved this 6th graders life. Be an upstander, not a bystander in your community. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

1 comment:

  1. Great post as always and I agree 100% that kids need to be monitored.


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