I don’t talk much with my parents or my sister and it’s all on my—I have no excuses only it could be I am a hesitant to open doors I don’t want to enter.
When is it a good time to allow your kids on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, and other social media apps? Hopefully, if your a parent or want to be one day, you are wrestling with this question!
It is more than just a philosophical or family values question—it's a matter of the law.
Adam McLane, who is an expert and leader when it comes to parental awareness, involvement, and social media, wrote a very informative article on this question: When should I allow my children to get a social media account? Speaking to dozens of parent groups in his social media workshops, he answers that question very plainly,
"Without fail, a parent will ask me… “What is the right age to allow my child to get [insert social media app name]?”"
The answer is simple: Thirteen.
Before you start having a hissy fit and get defensive because you already let your twelve year old on Facebook, and before you form any opinions in regards to his answer—I strongly recommend you read his article.
You can find it here: When should I allow my children to get a social media account?
If you are wondering what my answer would be to this questions... My answer would be the same as Adam's.
I was a youth pastor for seventeen years and I'm a parent of a 21year old, 18 year old and a 16 year old, and have seen the positive and negative of social media and young people. I would even go further and tell you that there are some social media apps you shouldn't let your kids have access to... And there are some social media apps I don't have and I'm an adult... But that is a post for another day.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with Adam McLane?
My kids aren't perfect—they have their allotment of problems and issues, but by and large my kids are great.
I wish I could say I was a super-parent, you know one of those dads, who takes every moment and makes it a life-changing lesson. Or intentionally spent a ton of time with them.
I'm afraid this isn't necessarily the case. There have been times, more frequent than I care to admit, where I said something to my kids only to go back and contradict myself or tell them I was completely wrong with the advice I gave them. My kids know I can be long-winded, that I can speak harshly to them sometimes, and have been known to raise my voice.
I wasn't the best time manager with my kids either. I more often chose to work on my career than I did tossing the ball or having tea parties with them. In fact, I have probably told my kids "I wish I would have done this" more than I have said, "insert something wise and clever here..."
Here's the thing.
I have tried to demonstrate an authentic life to my kids. My kids know my story, they know my stumbles, my sure-steps, my victories, and my defeats. They know I'm still be made new in Christ Jesus. My kids know what I don't want to be and what I do want to become.
Authenticity is tricky, especially when it comes to being authentic with your children. You don't want to reveal too much—an inappropriate amount and at inappropriate times or life-stages. And maybe there are somethings your children should never know about you. I get that.
You can run the risk of your kids looking at you with a negative lens. And some will say it can cause some type of emotional damage... blah, blah, blah... I know I get the dangers of being authentic with your kids.
Here is what I am not saying...
I am not saying that speaking truth and wisdom or spending tons of time with your kids is wrong. I think it is very important to do these things.
Parents need to do these things. Wisdom and time—they are high on the priority list when it comes to parenting. But never neglect authenticity.
False Identity and False Idols
But you know what! It's more dangerous for your kids to see you for who you really are after you put up a false front, and believe me at some point in their lives they will, than it is for you to intentionally allow them to see some of the ugliness of your life and see how you seek to become a better person.
Some parents play it too safe and create a false identity, which in turn gives their kids an unrealistic target to aim for—it can create false idols for them to want to become like. And when they don't, they might not have the tools to deal with failure.
I hope my kids seek to be authentic verses being perfect or someone they are not. I want to show them what it means to be on an adventure—on a journey through this thing called life.
***Note to my kids: despite what I said, I really am made of steel, don't feel pain, am not ticklish, and the tip of my thumb does detach from the rest of my thumb...
A Quick Parent Thought...
Today is a big day in the Puentes house. My son will be graduating high school today!
It doesn’t seem that long ago when my oldest daughter graduated high school, and now she is turning twenty-one years old later this year.
In a phrase that my wife uses sometimes, “Oh my word!”
Time sure does fly when your having fun.
Isn’t this true with most things? Before we know it, the things we felt were permanent, slip away and dissipate—it’s a thing of beauty and a curse.
I ramble, but in all honesty so many things in this world are temporal.
Even our relationships with our kids to some extent.
These, these relationships don’t have to be!
Make every effort to show grace and love to your kids before they move out—love your neighbor to Jesus. All of us are made in the image of God.
"Let this be your wish: That whether in life or in death God may be glorified in you." — Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
No matter your circumstances—economic situation, living environment, single parent, teen parent, grandparent, guardian, and etc...
Don't give up. Never give up!
What you do and what you say to your kids will make a difference in the trajectory of their future.
Invest in them, invest in yourself. Believe in them and believe in yourself.
You can do it.
KD's mom did and look at what happened.
Here is a quick parenting thought for the day:
When you can, take you kids to school.
Whether it's driving them or walking them--take them to school. You will have some of the best and most in depth conversations you can have with your kids.
I know it's not always possible to take them to school aren't always there.
Shoot! Today was my day off and I wanted to sleep in... Nevertheless, when the opportunity arises to spend time with your kids in the morning--take it!
My kids and I have developed some insider-conversations and lingo that only we find humorous (Everything always goes back to Psych the TV show). We will forever have these memories.
And the list of moment-makers can go on and on...
Parent Thought of the Day: Take your kids to school.