Tips for Parents: When it’s Time to be Friends with Social Media

In her new book, “Love Your Self(ie): Life Lessons for Building Kid Charisma” Andrea Lewis reminds preteens that self-worth is about more than just ‘likes’.  It’s a story of a girl named Harper who’s devastated by a lack of attention on her social media site.  With the help of an older sibling, Harper gains the confidence to simply like herself.

Lewis’s story touches on the concerns many parents have about this new form of peer interaction.  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, today’s adolescents may be more digitally savvy but still lack the maturity to handle a lot of the messages they receive on social media.  It’s important for parents and other adults to help them understand the messages they see, while monitoring and setting limits on their social media time.

In addition, parents and other adults need to teach responsible use of social media technology and cell phone use to adolescents and teenagers.  That’s why groups like Boy Scout Troop 96 of Grayslake, have developed a technology policy that’s realistic and effective. Scoutmaster Pat Klemens writes, “In my mind, it’s no use to debate it any longer. The devices are here to stay.  In fact, there’s an incredible number of logical comparisons between a pocketknife and a cellphone”:

  • Both are tools.
  • Both could be toys.
  • Both can be used recklessly.
  • Both can hurt people.
  • Both can be highly useful.
  • Both require training for proper use.
  • Both can, at times, scare people.
  • Neither is going away.

In addition to an overall policy that incorporates the twelve principles of scouting, the group’s general guidelines include:

  1. Use the technology to build relationships, find useful information, communicate and share excitement about the organization.
  2. Updates to social sites using appropriate, (non-­embarrassing), photos or clips can share and build excitement about the group.
  3. Don’t let technology detract from the outdoor experience, the program experience, or the experience of being a Scout.

According to Klemens, “We don’t ban knives, hand axes or gas lanterns. We teach their use. Similarly, we don’t ban technology. We teach its use.”


Love Yourself(ie): Life Lessons for Building Kid Charisma is now available in print and Kindle.


Disclosure: Writer received a copy of Love Yourself(ie) to facilitate this story. No other compensation was received and all thoughts are her own. Some links provided are affiliate links and a portion of the sales will go to supporting the site. Thank you for clicking!

About Genevieve 43 Articles
Genevieve is mom to 3 future world leaders and wife to one really funny guy. A public health worker turned stay-at-home mom, she spends her days navigating life in a busy household. She loves mornings, exercise, God, America and chocolate. She hates scary movies, spiders, airplane rides and writing bios.

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