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Social Media and Your Teens

 

 

I am a mom to four girls, three of which are still teens.

The internet is how everything is done these days. There is no more writing notes to teachers, or using encyclopedias for research. If you want something done, you jump on your laptop and make it happen.

Not so many years ago when the internet first started growing I was one of those moms who didn't see the need for access to the internet. My girls would ask to open a Myspace account and then Facebook and I would say "No, you don't need it. " I just wanted to protect them from so much negative which is what I perceived them all to be.

Well, guess what ? You can't protect them from it. If you don't embrace it and allow it at home they will find it and have access to it somewhere else and you for sure have no control.

I have always been the house where the kids came hang out at. A lot of my girl's friends call me mom as well. It has been my way of keeping up with my girls .Having them hang out in my house means I get to know who all the “hot” guys are, who is doing what with whom and all the gossip you can possibly imagine. I have learned a lot I must say.

And so I learned quickly that if I didn't let my girls have access to the internet that it would become a secret instead. I am a very open mom. They can ask me anything and I will answer. Even the embarrassing things, and if I do not know the answer I will find out. I prefer they blush when I tell them than to be curious and find the answer another way. I don't want secrets with my girls. I want to communicate. We may not always agree and the teen years are definitely tough but I am determined to give them my all. And that had to include the internet.

So began my journey on the internet with them. My first daughter opened up a face book account and began connecting with all of her friends. I opened an account so that I could be connected to her. Now I am connected to them all on Facebook. Honestly, it has since opened up a whole new world for us all.

I began to meet people from all over and I wanted to teach my girls responsibility on the internet. I wanted them to have the resources they need for school work and projects but the internet is so much more than that. As we all say it is about "Social Media" and social media is about being social after all. I let my girls watch me interact with others, see my chats and know that you can connect with people and have relationships that are healthy. As teens and young girls, I didn’t just want them connecting with the guys, flirting or being in the middle of drama with a bunch of girls. I want them to know and see the value behind the internet.

I am now running my business online and I get my girls active in what I do. I let them see what I post. I let them help me on my Pinterest, Tumbler, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I let them pick things. We laugh at corny pictures and believe it or not they also pick things that are inspiring and say "Hey mom, I found this for you." I let them have input and I do the same for them . Their friends are also among some of my friends. Another "Mom" way of keeping close yet letting go.

I do pop onto their walls, keep check, post to them, make comments and if I find something I don't like I can ask them to remove it and we can discuss why. They all have different platforms now just as I do and we are all connected. My things are open to them and I like it that way. They actually add me and tell me right away. They have allowed me to read things and see things that they probably would not have had I not opened that door. I want to be the example for them to do right by the technology we have. Being social doesn't mean it has to be all gossip and flirting. Being social means caring about others. Listening to what they have to say, having compassion and learning that you are not alone in life. You share a world with many, and you can learn from each other.

My girls and I have our ups and downs. Being a teen is not easy and being a mom to all teens is a roller coaster. You never know what you’re in for. You just wake up each day, believing for the best and staying as close to them as you possibly can.

Social media and your teens can coexist in a healthy way. If you work together with them, you won't regret the decision to open that door.

 

 

  • http://www.sherievenner.com Sherie Venner

    Terressa, you are a very wise mom. The internet is here to stay and you are right…social media and teens can coexist in a healthy way. You are modeling the right way and teaching your girls! I applaud you!! More parents should take that type of lead. Great post!

    • Terressa Cortez

      Thanks so much Sherie.  I am definitely trying for my girls.  Having an open mind is key !

  • Sharon

    Being a teen is surely tough!  I remember when my oldest first really started with the social media on my space.  I created an account just to be able to monitor.  Unfortunately, with all the bells and whistles of facebook parents can even be blocked from viewing what is actually there….openness and honesty is key.

    • Terressa Cortez

      Being a teen is very tough these days. I don’t remember it this hard.  Openess and honest is definitely key.  Secrets destroy so easily. I want my girls to know even if I may not agree , I am here to talk and just be here for them.

  • Carele

    Great article and yes both can coexist! Standing ovation.

    • Terressa Cortez

      Thank you very much !

  • Meryl

    Great that you are discussing social media and our kids. I liked reading this!

    • Terressa Cortez

      Thank you Meryl. I appreciate the support.

  • http://carolynhughesthehurthealer.wordpress.com/ Carolyn Hughes

    Just the post I needed! My two daughters aren’t quite in their teens but they do use the internet and are on kids sites which are safe. But they still need to know the rules of keeping safe!
    Great that you involve them in your business – imagine that makes them feel pretty grown up and that their opinion is valued!

    • Terressa Cortez

      Best wishes Carolyn with your daughters.  My girls love being involved. It helps them to inderstand what I am doing and why.

  • http://anitafiander.com/ Anita Fiander

    Great post to inform parents. I have two older children, 25 and 23 and they are seldom on Facbook anymore. My youngest son who is only 9 is not interested in social media yet. That time will come but for now he is interested in other things.

    • Terressa Cortez

      Thank you Anita. My oldest girl is now 23 and doesnt use Facebook either as much. Good luck with your son as he gets older.  I am enjoying mine getting older. So much we can share now :)

  • http://twitter.com/MarthaGiffen Martha Giffen

    I gotta tell you. . . I don’t envy you. It was hard enough raising 3 teenagers when the internet was first catching on.  It’s a whole new ballgame now.  Good luck!

    • Terressa Cortez

      Yes it is Martha. And not an easy ballgame to play.  Thank you for your support !

  • http://www.captivetouch.com/ Sherry Nouraini

    You’re a great mother Terressa! I also believe in being open with our children and expose them to things but with control

    • Terressa Cortez

      Thanks Sherry, I totally agree :)

  • http://www.giglogo.com Karla Campos

    I agree with you Terressa, it is better to know what your kids are doing and having the capability of monitoring and teaching them at home rather than to find out later someone else is teaching them how to use the internet and possibly the wrong way. 

    • Terressa

      Thanks Karla,
      I try to stay informed and keep up. There is so much out there. :)

    • Terressa Cortez

      Definitely Karla.  This is exactly what I do not want happening. 

  • http://bruceandsallywitt.wordpress.com/ Sally K Witt

    You sound like an awesome Mom!

    • Terressa

      Thank you Sally. I appreciate the compliments.

    • Terressa Cortez

      Awe….thank you Sally :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1417401728 Kim Hawkins

    You remind me of my Mom. Our house was always one of the ones where the kids hung out. Love how you learned to embrace their interest in the internet and now use it for biz. It’s a big responsibility shaping the minds of young ones and it sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. Way to go Mom, uh, Terressa. LOL!

  • http://pristineperception.com/ Suzanne Jones

    Great informative post! Embrace it! 2 wonderful words!

  • Sue

    Great post Terressa.  Love your positive attitude as you build you nurture your relationships with your girls and build new ones with your new online friends.  It’s definitely a different world than when we grew up – I love the way you are involving your girls in your business, too — It is a great learning experience for them as they see the positive side of Social Media!  You are a GREAT MOM!