Looking for tips and advice with regards to helping young teens navigate social media, and in particular, how to help a young girl understand why it's not appropriate to post photos of herself on the likes of Instagram that are (I believe) inappropriate or send the wrong message.
My daughter is a pretty confident 13yr old girl, who has always enjoyed fashion and grooming, and always been "mature" for her age. Her dad and I talk to her constantly about the dangers of SM..but the penny hasn't seemed to have dropped..."it's just me in my Cali leotard, what's wrong with that?" And, there really isn't anything wrong with that...but there really is, iykwim...it's a minefield and I'm struggling to get her to understand.
I'm wondering if there are any articles that are aimed at young girls that I can give her to read, that might help her understand...rather than mum and dad being old and dumb!?
I have attached one of her photos as an example...
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27-03-2016 15:09 #1
Social media and teens
27-03-2016 15:18 #2
Not an article for her to read, but this article may help:
I've been to one of Michelle Mitchell's talks on parenting teenage girls and have found her advice to be good.
ETA I've just had a bit of a look at the website and noticed if you subscribe to Michelle Mitchell's blog, you will get free access to her ebook on Conquering Social Media.
Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 27-03-2016 at 15:21.
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27-03-2016 15:49 #3
Gosh it's so hard isn't it? So scary.
One suggestion I have is that it is a non-negotiable that you can access her social media sites whenever you ask (yes including messages), and that you are her 'friend'. Her friends must be people she knows IRL and if she breaks that rule she is banned for a period of time.
There are a number of educational cyber safety sites with lesson plans and resources that are free to access with a good Google. It might be worth having a look to see how they approach this issue. There is also the case from South Australia of a girl who was murdered by an online 'friend'. Her mother has started a foundation and has a website to go with it. Google Carly Ryan. This stuff is rare but it happens.
To be frank, if it were my daughter I would challenge the 'it's just my calisthenics leotard' comment based on the photo you have posted above. Whether it is intentional or not, this is not an 'innocent' photograph to my eyes. In my experience young teenagers are a lot more savvy than we tend to give them credit for. I'm not suggesting she is being deliberately provocative, but I do think she would realise this isn't the type of picture that proud mum and dad would take of their girl doing calisthenics iykwim :-)
At the same time, letting her know that even grown ups can find themselves in uncomfortable situations, and that there is nothing she can tell you that will stop you loving her and that you are always there to listen might help too.
27-03-2016 16:07 #4
.I am "friends" with her on Insta and FB...and have full access to her phone/accounts.
Thanks for those references..I have previously googled without much success...I need something for her..I get why she shouldn't be posting the above photo..but I need her to get it and stop doing it because she understands.
Exactly... I did challenge the photo (and others)...As I said to her it's about the message the photo is conveying to others, the message she is sending about herself. She comes back with - "why am I not allowed to be proud of what I look like? I work hard to be fit and healthy" (she is very athletic - in a specialist sports program - and quite health concious). So I come back with the argument that her looks are not all she is about, there are lots of other elements of herself that are important...and she replys with "well look at all my photos...There are of lots of things about me..at school, in my pyjamas, at the pool, with my family"
And she has a point....but I still don't like the message in that and similar photos...
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27-03-2016 16:22 #5Senior Member
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The reality is you DD is not old enough or enlightened enough to know the potential 'message' that an innocent photo could create in the mind of a stranger on the Internet. Or, that once a photo is posted, there is not alot of security over the image. Kaybaby, i honestly think you should remove the image from your post. That was just my thought... i dont have teenagers yet...
27-03-2016 16:23 #6
Ugh I am not looking forward to this one bit! I have 3 DD's. Two are 9 and 11, so far my eldest has no interest in fashion, loves pokemon and minecraft. I do not allow her to play the game on the internet. My girls don't have Facebook as I think it is not appropriate until they are much older, but like you I worry about the whole social media and their impressionable minds. My girls are still somewhat immature and haven't reached an interest in social media and I hope to hold on to that for a while yet.
As a parent, you have the ultimate say. It is tough though isn't it. Good luck with it and I hope you really make her understand because as mature as she may appear, she is still a little girl to a certain extent.
27-03-2016 16:34 #7
It's so hard. I've never had an issue with my 15 year old. Rightly or wrongly there are some girls in her grade at school who model very poor behaviour and gave her very good examples of what not to do.
My 13 year old is another story, she is book smart but has little street sense and is incredibly easily influenced by peer group pressure. For example, I had to make her delete photos of her and her friends wearing bikinis that she thought were okay to post on instagram. She made a musically (is that how it is spelt?) video of her singing in the shower, that she thought was fine because she was sort of covered up, but the way it was shot gave the illusion of her being naked in the shower. She doesn't get why photos in school uniform are a no go.
I've had to explain that once it is out there online, friends can send images to their friends and so on and she really has no control over who sees what she posts.
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27-03-2016 18:10 #8
Honestly, for a mature 13 year old, I'd be fine with that picture. She absolutely has a point. I understand why it may make you uncomfortable, but it's her body. Suggesting that it's an inappropriate image reinforces the idea that female bodies are always sexual, and girls should be ashamed of expressing sexuality.
I'd be reinforcing the messages about online safety in a non-patronizing way. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to find resources that AREN'T patronizing)
Completely understand that you may have a different view, in which case you can have non-negotiable boundaries for her social media usage. Just keep in mind that if she sees the boundaries as being unfair, you risk her hiding things from you, so you have less of an idea of what's going on.
27-03-2016 18:47 #9
I think that's fine.
My poor friend is coping with her 13yo foster child posting nudes
27-03-2016 19:03 #10
There is a blog called pigtail pals ball cap buddies. She talks a lot about your personal brand (how what you do/say/wear tells the world about you) and media literacy. A lot of that stuff would feed into this. The blog starts with education from a young age, but most of it can be adapted to all age groups.
I think a lot of teens these days have difficulty separating sexy with being popular/desirable. Their world is saturated with messages saying that "you must look like this to (fill in the blank)". I'm glad social media only started coming in as I neared the end of my schooling!
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