I was chatting it up with a friend the other day when our conversation rolled around to social media. Facebook, in particular. She was unhappy about her teenage daughter’s discretion (or lack of) as to what is “share worthy” on the social media site.
I felt her pain.
Social media haunts us all as parents.
If we’re going to allow our kids to use it (and I don’t know how we can avoid it), we’ve got to “mom up” and deal with the challenges.
Mom up: Be a grown up female person of authority in an under-aged kid’s life. Make it your business to administer loving discipline when necessary.
In the world of social media and cell phones, our kids don’t need more friends.
They need parents who aren’t afraid to make hard choices.
“Do you ever say anything to her about her posts?” I asked.
“I couldn’t,” she said.“She might ‘unfriend’ me!”
I felt bad for her. I know what it’s like to be at an uncomfortable juncture with your kid. You know you should correct her, but you don’t want to seem controlling and overbearing. And, you don’t want to make things awkward between you.
Unfortunately, I also know that as moms we have hard responsibilities whether we like it or not.
“Well, is it your computer?” I asked.
Do you pay for the Internet that services that computer?
And the house that the Internet service comes into?
And, the food that she eats in the house that the Internet service comes into?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you have a right to say something about her choices.
Hard choices don’t make you popular. I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not trying to win a popularity contest.
Kids don’t become teenagers and all of a sudden we’re afraid to talk to them about the content on their Facebook pages.
It starts way earlier than that.
We’ve all witnessed the mom with a tantrum-throwing two-year old, who gives into him.
If left unchecked, that tantrum throwing two-year old morphs into a tantrum-throwing 10-year old and stuff continues to roll downhill.
See the pattern?
In those cases, when a kid threatens to “unfriend” his parent on his Facebook page, it should come as no surprise.
Here’s the net-net. The bottom line.
We are responsible to God for our kids. Proverb 19:18 says he who fails to discipline his child is a party to his death.
I am not judging. I’m far from a perfect parent.
But, this is serious stuff.
No one gets it right all the time.
But, we should try really hard to get it right some of the time.
Loving discipline is the greatest gift we can give our kids.
If we don’t feed them a steady diet of it, they’ll become emotionally anemic adults.
By definition, children are not wise.
They’re not stupid. They just don’t have the knowledge or experience to make grown-up (big girl and big boy) decisions. (Even though many think they do.)
We shouldn’t try to control our teen-aged kids’ every move. If we do that, then we prevent them from growing and learning. There’s a fine line between hovering and helping.
Real moms suck it up. They take it like a mom and make course correction, when necessary.
And, as tempting as it may be, we don’t “unfriend” each other for speaking truth.