Jump to content
Prancer is coming

Social media and teens - am I too strict?

Recommended Posts

Prancer is coming

DD is 14 - just.  Generally as she grew up we have limited all screens.  When she started high school she got a laptop and a mobile phone around the same time.  When she was 13 she got Instagram and that evolved into Facebook and tic toc.  Over lockdown, I was fairly loose with screen time and she would spend most of the school day either doing school work or communicating with her friends over devices.  I have not tightened her restrictions back up and she spends more time than I would like in her room doing stuff on the phone.  The phone comes out at about 8pm for the night.  She does plenty of sport and activities so not on her phone  all day.

 

She is pretty sensible with her phone.   On one occasion she was up late overnight on it  messaging people and occasionally uses it in school where phones are banned.  She has used some inappropriate language in private messages and can be a bit blunt in how she words things which have gotten people offside.  Part of the rules of having a device is I monitor it.  I can go weeks and months without checking anything and If there have been issues I tend to look more.

 

I discovered she now has Snapchat, which she knew I had not agreed to.  I don’t like the idea behind snap chat and thinks it gives a false sense of security that the snap (is that what they call it?) will disappear and because of this, people may not always communicate nicely.  She accesses it on a spare mobile with no sim, which I have confiscated.  Now as you can imagine she is not happy, tells me she is the only one without it, how I am ruining her social life and too controlling.  I feel she has plenty of other avenues to communicate with others.

 

Is it a social disaster not to have snap chat?  I feel she is so caught up in her distress and how mean I am that she has lost sight of how she did something she was not supposed to in the first place.  She has always been very independent and high maintenance and tends to do what she wants without caring for the consequences.  But at the same is pretty sensible in the decisions she makes.  I am in two minds about making some sort of compromise about it, but then thinking it is a red light for her to just go and do what she wants.  Perspective please!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GlitteryElfFarts

DD21 has it, but she uses it for work as well.

DD16 doesn’t have it, and has never asked for it. Not all her friends have either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meepy

Not a social disaster at all.  You would be surprised by the number of teenagers that don't have it.  I am also strict on technology and monitor when I think it is warranted.

I have been involved with too many incidents at school involving social media and the devastation caused by it e.g. death threats, organised assault, defamation, forwarded porn etc.  They have consequences that far outweigh what teenagers foresee.  

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenflea

And until she's 16 or 18, my house, my rules to a certain extent, especially if it's me(and DH) that pay the bills and provide the devices. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*BellBird*

If you have Netflix maybe watch The Social Dilemma together and have a talk about the limits you apply in context of the problems  with SM they raise in the documentary. It might help give her some perspective. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
annodam

My eldest (19yo) only got into SM in Yr 9 & it began with FB because she went away on a School trip O/S & it was a way for me to keep in touch with what was going on.

I'll apply the same rules with my youngest who turns 12yo in November.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ImperatorFuriosa

Snap chat is a cesspool. I'm strict when I need to be and pretty lax in other areas. When I found my eldest had it I said well in the grand scheme of things I own your phone. I bought it, I bought the cover and I pay for the service. So...yeah. He got over the buzz and moved on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tinky Winky Woo

Maybe have the devices charge in a communal room, so then she won't have as easy access to them.  I have a teen and all devices live in a communal room unless they are being used for school.  Bedrooms are off limits.  We don't allow Tik Tok due to some things I have read and heard about it.  Facebook I am a friend and have their log on details.  They also have a message thing, again which I have full access too.  I do spot checks randomly and will do until they are older.

I have limited device use during the week and have a flexible schedule on weekends BUT devices do not go with us when we are out together and they are expected to interact with us even when using devices

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreme

I have a DD the same age and sounds like a similarish personality. Snapchat was my last holdout for the same reasons as you. She didn’t nag me about it but mentioned she was the only one not on it out of her group of friends. 
 

I decided to allow her to have it during lockdown after she had completed her end of term assessments. She was miserable without her friends and it gave her something to look forward to. 
 

If she’d deceived us and got it without permission then there would have been a consequence and the most logical one is delaying when she was allowed to have it. DD once blocked me on Instagram and we deleted Instagram for a period of time until she earned back the trust. 
 

We encourage DD to be busy and active and she would always rather be with her friends in person than in the bedroom on her device alone. But this year has been such a strange time and we’ve really erred on the side of caution until recently (we are in Sydney) and haven’t allowed her to socialise apart from seeing her cousin and the occasional friend who lives locally. Social media has enabled her to stay in touch with her school friends which is so important for teenagers. I try to talk to her often about the “forever” aspect of online communication and how glad I am that none of my 14 year old thoughts and actions have been saved for posterity!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bereckii
15 minutes ago, Tinky Winky Woo said:

Maybe have the devices charge in a communal room, so then she won't have as easy access to them.  I have a teen and all devices live in a communal room unless they are being used for school.  Bedrooms are off limits.  We don't allow Tik Tok due to some things I have read and heard about it.  Facebook I am a friend and have their log on details.  They also have a message thing, again which I have full access too.  I do spot checks randomly and will do until they are older.

I have limited device use during the week and have a flexible schedule on weekends BUT devices do not go with us when we are out together and they are expected to interact with us even when using devices

This sounds very similar to us.

Regarding no devices in bedrooms (also our rule here), how do you manage this when friends visit? (And bring their phones with them) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SeaPrincess

My now 15yo got a phone for his 14th birthday, so it’s his, and he pays for calls, etc. What this means is that he basically only uses it when he has wifi service. Data-hungry functions, like location services, are turned off on all apps. Their school is hot on online safety and they’ve just had their annual talk from a cyber-crimes cop.
From monitoring his apps, he is mostly just messaging. I don’t check it often, and on the odd occasion when I see something I don’t like, he knows straight away what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SeaPrincess
2 minutes ago, Bereckii said:

This sounds very similar to us.

Regarding no devices in bedrooms (also our rule here), how do you manage this when friends visit? (And bring their phones with them) 

I tell them we don’t have devices in the bedroom and remove them at bedtime if they have them out.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jersey Caramel
2 minutes ago, Bereckii said:

This sounds very similar to us.

Regarding no devices in bedrooms (also our rule here), how do you manage this when friends visit? (And bring their phones with them) 

We have the same rule, though our DS is only 12.5 and got his first phone this year at start of high school. I don't worry too much about it when friends come during the day,  as they mostly play board games or the PlayStation in the communal areas anyway. If they want to play a phone game then they would do that in the communal areas too. For sleepovers, I just say that it is a house rule that devices get charged overnight on the kitchen bench and to just let me know if they need to phone home or whatever.  His friends have been fine with it so far,  but I know their parents and think they have very similar rules/approaches. I'm sure it could be trickier with older teens and less familiar friends. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seayork2002

We are pretty relaxed with devices as although ds13 has a phone he uses it for school but ignores it other than that, he uses his ipad/playstation for gaming and YouTube, he does chat on discord but only to his actual friends he knows about gaming we live in a small unit so although we don't intentionally listen we can't help hearing, no offence to him but it is incredibly boring.

He has no interest in social media (unless discord is?) So I think we would be strict if he was.

I hold all his passwords/log in details and he knows we will check if we need too and this means he has to me to add and apps etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
amdirel

My 15yo has snapchat. I must say, she uses it a LOT. All her friends use it a lot too. It is their main sm platform they use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meepy

Check for the type of pictures she is receiving.  Even the most responsible kids get sent rude pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tinky Winky Woo

Regarding no devices in bedrooms (also our rule here), how do you manage this when friends visit? (And bring their phones with them) 

 

When friends come over they hang out in a communal area, if they are sleeping over they sleep in the games room.  Honestly though with school, sport and other extra curricular activities the kids really only see each other outside of school during holidays.  They all have almost a 7hr school day. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jersey Caramel

OP, I would stick to your rules and ignore the comments about being so mean and controlling.  Pretty much every teen I know seems to think they are the "only ones" without x, y, z but when you chat around the parents it is simply not the case. Your DD has broken your trust and it is very reasonable for there to be a consequence for that. 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Murderino
38 minutes ago, SeaPrincess said:

I tell them we don’t have devices in the bedroom and remove them at bedtime if they have them out.

My kids are now 9 and 11 and have iPads that charged in my walk in wardrobe at our old house and my room at this rental. They’ll be back in my walk in wardrobe when the new house is built. I had the powerpoint installed specifically when I bought the old house and am having one installed during this build.

When the oldest was 9 we had a sleepover and one of the friends brought an iPad which I discovered after they all went to bed. Like you I just said we don’t have devices in bedrooms in our house and it would be in the lounge room if they needed it to contact parents or they could use my phone.

Edited by Murderino
Edited as I noticed powerpoint autocorrected to PowerPoint
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jersey Caramel

I don't have any firsthand experience with Snapchat, but a friend's teens use it and she really felt that it got them addicted very quickly due to the 'streaks' (?? Apparently to keep a streak going everyone in the group has to send a message daily.  Why streaks a so important  I don't know?! But it sounded like there was extreme peer pressure not to be the one to break a streak). To the point where they didn't want to go on a holiday where there was a chance they wouldn't have wifi/ mobile reception for a day or two, and would majorly overreact if they were asked to put the phone away).  They are now really struggling with their teen who is thoroughly addicted to SM/ phone and has ended up getting into some very dangerous and awful situations via the use of apps.  This teen is still calling the parents "so mean and controlling" even when the teen has ignored every rule, snuck around all restrictions,  lied, broken various laws and been thoroughly untrustworthy. So that's another reason we will be delaying social media as long as possible. 

Modern parenting,  hey? :(

Edited by Jersey Caramel
  • Like 1
  • Sad 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meepy

Another reason not to have it is that everyone who you are connected to can see where you are.  Handy if you are on excursion and trying to locate students, not so handy otherwise.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreme
14 minutes ago, Jersey Caramel said:

I don't have any firsthand experience with Snapchat, but a friend's teens use it and she really felt that it got them addicted very quickly due to the 'streaks' (?? Apparently to keep a streak going everyone in the group has to send a message daily.  Why streaks a so important  I don't know?! But it sounded like there was extreme peer pressure not to be the one to break a streak). To the point where they didn't want to go on a holiday where there was a chance they wouldn't have wifi/ mobile reception for a day or two, and would majorly overreact if they were asked to put the phone away).  They are now really struggling with their teen who is thoroughly addicted to SM/ phone and has ended up getting into some very dangerous and awful situations via the use of apps.  This teen is still calling the parents "so mean and controlling" even when the teen has ignored every rule, snuck around all restrictions,  lied, broken various laws and been thoroughly untrustworthy. So that's another reason we will be delaying social media as long as possible. 

Modern parenting,  hey? :(

I agree to a degree but I also think that it’s not exclusively a “modern” phenomenon. When I was a teen there were those who pushed every boundary, lied about where they were, snuck out the window etc. And there were those who didn’t. I don’t think it’s that different now except some of the boundary pushing is happening on SM.

A friend of mine is intensely anti screens and loathes social media. When she started having trouble with one of her kids she blamed the SM platform that he was “addicted to” and took it away from him. Cue self harming and suicide attempts. It turned out that he was experiencing severe depression and the friends he was connecting to on SM were actually supporting him in a way that his school friends were not. It was one of his SM friends who reached out to his mum to let her know that he was suicidal. She’s gradually having to come to terms with the fact that he’s not the outdoorsy, sporty kid that she wants him to be. He’s a geeky gamer with severe social anxiety and he is happier and calmer when he can have an online social life. He’s not addicted, it’s just where he feels most comfortable. 

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BusbyWilkes

Snapchat used to be the only platform that had snaps that “disappeared” but now much of Insta messaging is like this too. So I’m not sure how much worse Snapchat is? And most kids I know have a priv insta account that their parents don’t know about/can’t see, in addition to their more public account.
Most friends  had strict boundaries with our early teens, but looking back I wonder if that took away from developing their ability to self regulate use. 
OP, I feel there is a difference between 12/13 year olds and 14/15 year olds such as your DD. IME most of the communication my kids have with friends via their phones is on Snapchat. Like yours, the6 also have lots of other things they do in real life together. I would think about talking to your DD about your concerns (esp her lack of honesty) and watch the social dilemma on Netflix together and discuss your and her thoughts. You could then make a plan for her to use Snapchat and feel confident that she will come to you with any issues that arise. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BusbyWilkes
11 minutes ago, Meepy said:

Another reason not to have it is that everyone who you are connected to can see where you are.  Handy if you are on excursion and trying to locate students, not so handy otherwise.

Only if you have location turned on. Mine have it turned off most the time, but will turn it on if they are meeting friends out somewhere.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...