While social media is the norm now, it doesn’t have to be for our kids. I remember a Christian Counselor, Sissy Goff, saying to wait as long as possible to start all that for our kids.
Our kids are forming their identities when they’re young. They’re so vulnerable to comparison and feeling like they need to fit in. Social media just intensifies that. In elementary school, middle school and early grades in high school, so much of a kid’s worth and who they are, hang on what other people think (and many times years beyond that- even as adults we grapple with that.)
It can be detrimental for our kids to be on social media, playing the comparison game, always wondering what others think of them, or trying to present themselves in a certain way that they waste so much time and lose sight of who they are, not even having a chance to find out who they are because they get lost in others’ thoughts of them.
I’m not saying what every family should do or at what age something should be allowed. That’s for each family to decide and every child is so different. But, I do think it’s really, REALLY important to look at the maturity level of our kids to determine that.
A friend of mine let her kids decide junior or senior year in high school if they wanted to have social media. I know that might seem crazy to many, but she said that her kids were able to see the constant drama that surrounded social media and were so glad to not be a part of it. By the time they could be on it, they didn’t want to be.
A youth might decide to be on social media at some point when they’re mature, but in the meantime, let’s show our kids what it looks like to have real friendships, real conversations, by giving them opportunities to be with friends, IN PERSON. It’s so important to laugh and be silly and to be a kid and to enjoy the simple things.
Our kids might feel like they’re missing out, but if you can tell them that really, the kids on social media are missing out because there are so many exciting things happening around us while others are tied to their screens. Let them know…Live your life! Don’t watch others’ lives on a screen.
We. Do. Not. have to do what culture does.
Jesus never cared what culture thought. He cared what the right thing to do was. When he wasn’t supposed to heal on the sabbath, He did, because it was right. When everyone cared so much about being accepted, he told His followers to “shake the dust off their feet and leave that town” if someone didn’t welcome them. When the Pharisees called Jesus out for healing, He called them hypocrites.
Jesus didn’t care what people thought.
And we don’t need to care what culture thinks either.
We need to care most about our kids’ hearts and mental state.
That. Comes. First.
What do your kids enjoy doing?
What makes them laugh?
What makes them smile and just be themselves?
Do more of that.
And, if you can find other parents who think similarly and other kids who are of a similar mindset, that can be huge in your child not feeling like they are missing out or being left out.
But again, you have to decide what’s best for your child.
Lord, we pray you would give us wisdom in this world of technology. Help us to navigate it and do what is best for our kids, regardless of what culture does. We pray for great opportunities for our kids to be kids, and to find joy in simple things. We pray for life-giving friendships for our kids, and that they would be lights for You and for what really matters. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
*If you’re looking for a way to be able to get in touch with your kids when they’re not with you, but don’t want social media on the device, The Gabb watch is great!
I don’t know what it is you’re going through right now- that big thing, small thing, hard thing, exhausting thing, whatever it is.
But, what I do know, is that Easter morning shows us that God is greater than all. That no matter what you’re going through, you can take heart that Great is our Lord and Mighty in Power.
He walked through the darkest places and rose above them so he could be with you, connect with you, to heal your heart, to carry you, to strengthen you, to pull you through this, whatever it is.i
With Easter approaching, remember that,
God knows. God cares. God loves you.
We praise you, Lord, for your great miracle on Easter. We praise you for raising Jesus from death to life so we could have full and forever life with you. We praise you for giving us hope in You and for meeting our needs today according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Enjoy these screensavers for your phone to encourage you! They’re from For Girls Like You
and you can download them for FREE here: Phone Screensavers