Media affects our ATTITUDE and ACTIONS. Music, books, magazines, TV shows, computer games, apps, and movies are all considered media. If as parents we are to bring up our children in the way of the Lord we must be vigilant in helping them navigate social media choices and usage.
1 Corinthians 10:23 You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – but not everything is beneficial.
School is swinging into full gear and routines are being reestablished so as a family we sat down with our thirteen year old daughter and together came up with the following guidelines. We also reviewed which social media apps she is currently using, along with her passwords, history, and did a major reset as we love her and desire to help her make wise media choices.
20 Social Media Guidelines for Our Family
- I will allow my parents to set my privacy settings and parental control settings on all my accounts and will not change these settings without permission.
- I will provide my parents with my passwords for all social media accounts and not change passwords without their permissions.
- I will never give out personal information (passwords, my name, age, our address, or other personal information) online or by text without my parents’ permission knowing that identity theft is real. I will let my parents know if anyone asks for personal information.
- I will get permission to join any social media site or to download software, songs, apps, etc. onto my devices by sending an email to both parents asking for permission. FYI Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all require children to be at least 13 years old to join because of the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act,” which limits companies from collecting personal information about kids under 13.
- I understand that my parents have a right to check my media history on all connected devices. If I delete any history I will lose media privileges and will let my parents know why I deleted the history.
- I will keep the use of connected devices (cell phone, iPad, computer, etc.) in the open and not behind closed doors i.e. bathrooms or my bedroom.
- I will charge all media devices outside of my bedroom and not bring them into my room.
- I will use connected devices only outside of school time unless discussed beforehand or common sense dictates a need to use.
- I will maintain my best effort during the school year and dedicate myself to the extra curricular activities I’m signed up for.
- I will keep social media, streaming video, and television use in check. I will follow my parents’ rules regarding time limits for online use. Remember, the enemy satan came to kill, steal, and destroy. He can defeat us through media distractions by keeping us busy clicking on links, watching funny videos, viewing and liking content. Ask yourself if how you spend your time is pleasing to God. Matthew 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above ALL else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
- I will ask for permission before watching sitcoms, movies or videos either online or on the TV even if I must call or text my parents while visiting a friend’s home.
- I will not watch TV shows, movies, or play games that are inappropriate. I understand that so long as I live at home my parents have the right to screen all media choices. Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
- I will turn my head if any sexual content appears on screen, even kissing. Remember, your eyes take in images that your mind cannot erase so don’t pollute your mind with trash. Garbage in, Garbage out. Song of Solomon 2:7 Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem, by the gazelles, yes, by all the wild deer: Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe-and you’re ready.
- I will not use the Internet inappropriately to slander, speak negatively, or bully anyone nor will I participate with others doing so. I will let my parents know if others are unkind or offensive to me. Remember once you post something, you can’t take it back. Words are powerful and can be used to build up or tear down others so use your words wisely. Exodus 23:2 “You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.
- I will avoid all chat rooms.
- I will alert my parents if I’m sent or come across pornography, anything inappropriate or that makes me feel uncomfortable.
- I will ask for permission before sharing photos of family, friends or myself.
- I will not listen to any music that has vulgar language or suggestive lyrics. Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
- I will not read magazines that focuses on gossip, sex, romance, etc.. Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
- I will agree to ask for permission before “friending” strangers on social media sites and I will not meet up with strangers I’ve met on-line
I understand that my parents love me and are seeking to protect me from danger. I risk the following consequences for violating any of the above guidelines:
I hope that this post has inspired you to reevaluate your tween/teens social media usage. Please talk to your child(ren) and establish media guidelines together.
Which guideline(s) did you find most helpful?