There is lots of talk about regulation and rules on social media platforms and minors.  All good discussion and there are some good ideas on the table. My question is why wait for someone else to do YOUR job as the parent?  The research shows that the effects of social media on teenagers is not positive.  As parents, you need to be aware of how much screen time is taking up your child’s day and night.  Don’t let the electronics charge in their rooms.  Do you know what sites they are checking out?  Do you know who your kids are communicating with?  Dr. Laura Berman, who was a frequent guest Oprah Winfrey’s show, lost her teenage son, Sam, to an overdose death in February of 2021, from a drug dealer he met on Snapchat.  Every social interaction is not going to end in a tragedy, but as parents you need to know what your kids are up to.  Are they being harassed, bullied or are they the aggressor?  Maybe there is nothing going on, but you need to be aware. 

     Parents through out history have had their challenges.  Each generation of parents has their own unique issues they are faced with to protect their children from.  We want our kids lives to be better than ours and we try to protect them from the evils of this world, that’s our job.  Remember, you have all the power, as the saying goes, “He who hold all the gold, has the power.”  Whether it is the phone, the car, the television or the XBOX, these are things that can be taken away when there is no respect for you, a teacher/coach, your rules or your home.  We would tell our kids, “we give you many opportunities, and the expectations for you are high.”  Working hard in school is not an option, it is an expectation.  Set the bar high for your kids and they will achieve.  When they have difficulties, teach them to ask for help.  If an event or activity your child has been invited to partake in doesn’t sound safe or age appropriate, don’t let them go.  Call the parent planning the event to get the straight scoop and all the details.  You need to know where they are, what they are doing and who they are with.  If you don’t like the idea of a sleepover, don’t let them stay over, let them stay until a time YOU decide on and pick them up (kids need their sleep and they won’t get it at a sleep over and you get them tired and cranky the next morning). Any trouble your kids get into not only affects their future, but yours as well.  Your kids need to know that.  They may seem like adults but they are children.  Do not underestimate your life experience over theirs.  So they have 14 or 15 years life experience versus your 40 plus years of experience and wisdom per parent.  Who knows best?

     Be willing to be the adult and parent and not your child’s friend.  They will have many friends in their life, however, the role of a parent is a very unique and special one. You CAN be the friend when they are grown. From early on establish who is in charge. It starts from the beginning, with establishing a routine, and as they get older “No means no, “ with consequences, follow through so the child understands what they did wrong and that they accept responsibility for their actions. Love them and move forward. Establishing a good parent child relationship is life long. It means giving children no more than they can handle to deal with, as Corrie Ten Boom said her father told her, “It would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load, it is the same way with knowledge.” Don’t give your children too much responsibility to handle before they are mature enough to take it on, whether it is social media, driving a car, or social situations they are not equipped yet to accept the consequences of. When your accept the behavior you accept the consequences.

As much as possible, try to enlist other parents on your team who are like minded in their thinking and are on the same page as you. There is strength in numbers. If you can plan activities as a group, you all can have your ‘antenna up‘ being on the lookout for something that seems out of character for a child.  It gives your kids a good support system of families and adults who have their best interest in mind and explain this to your children that you want them to have a safe environment for them. It is a big dangerous world out there and the more you can insulate them from it, until they are equipped to hand it, the better. Little by little give them responsibilities they are ready to handle.

     A stronger community is good for everyone. When kids know that there are adults looking out for them they feel safe and when kids feel safe, they can blossom and grow.  Our kids deserve the best we can give them and giving them safe boundaries allows them to grow in to the people they were meant to be. No one know the boundaries best set for your child better than you… This all can lead to many… Great Days ahead 🍎 

Mrs. Burau 🍎