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Any time someone asks about cell phone use in teens and tweens on Facebook, everyone responds with how their kids don’t have their phones in their rooms, how they aren’t giving their kids phones until they are old enough to drive, or how their kids aren’t on insta-snapper-twatter and by golly they won’t be.
And then I log into my instagram and see your kid posting a selfie or a thotty pic from their bathroom at midnight.
Which leads me to ask, “Why are you lying about your kid’s social media use? Do you not know or do you just want everyone else to think you’re a tougher parent than you are?”
Any time I see someone posting about how they won’t get their kids a phone, I have to wonder how they are getting in contact with their middle schoolers after school when they have sports, plays, dance, and all sorts of extra curricular activities that they need to be picked up from where teachers and coaches change up practice times last minute.
But then I also ask my middle schooler, “Are there kids at your school that don’t have a phone?”
Her answer is always the same, “The only kids that don’t have phones are the ones that got grounded from theirs for whatever reason. Everybody has one.”
And that answer probably isn’t 100 percent true, I am SURE that there are still parents out there that are holding out on getting their kids a phone or letting their children have an instagram account. (Or, at least knowing that their kids have an instagram account, anyway.) But it’s pretty damn close.
Teachers expect these kids to have phones, ipads and laptops. Their homework is done on the computer now, not on paper. They pull up last week’s assignment on their cell phones, and answer emails about schoolwork in the car on the way to their next activity.
Cell phones and computers are a part of teens and tween’s every day life, so why are parents still feeling guilty about admitting that their children have them?
Why are we still lying? Giving your kid a phone doesn’t make you a bad parent. Letting your child use instagram doesn’t make you a crappy mom. Not knowing what is happening on that phone, and not having the logins to those accounts does.
So, let’s shift the narrative and start telling the TRUTH about our kid’s screentime usage. If we don’t, then we can never have real, honest conversations about how to keep them safe.