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Children / Teens/Tweens

My Kids Are Now on Instagram: Here’s The One Thing I Want Them to Know

teens on instagram

My kids’ first foray into social media has been via Instagram. Instagram is an easy way for me to keep an eye on Tessa and Reed, now teens, and watch their tendencies, stepping in only as necessary  — which it hasn’t been, *knock-wood*.

(I’m like Jane Goodall. She observed chimps in the wild habitat of Gombe; I observe imps in somewhat less civilized habitat of middle school.)

I watched these past few months as Tessa and Reed stepped into their virtual personae. Their virtual personae ended up consisting of….

…a crap ton of selfies. That’s all they knew to do.

Selfies, I explained, show the world how you want to be seen. What *I* find interesting when I check out someone on Instagram — I said in my a teachy tone I surely got from my dad –is how you see the world.

Why not mix up those two things and show both?” I suggested.

I showed them my Instagram account as an example, which required quite a bit of scrolling before a selfie appeared (YMMV). “See here? More teachy-tone. “You’re seeing the world THROUGH my eyes and not so much SEEing my eyes.”

teens on instagram

The imps have pretty much ignored me. On the positive side, I am getting used to that.

What are your thoughts on Selfies vs Worldies?


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Lori Holden's book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open AdoptionLori Holden, mom of a tween son and a teen daughter, blogs from Denver at Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life.

Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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  1. Loooooove this on so many levels! Selfies have a purpose for sure but whenever I take them (rarely), it’s not to show how good I look but to show where I am and what I’m doing (which should be cool in order to warrant taking the picture in the first place.

    But what do we parents know anyway. 🙂

    • That’s what my kids ask, always with an eyeroll and then a “not much.”

      Parenting keeps one humble!

  2. So relating to this. We laid down only a few ground rules in a way she would understand. First, dad was going to follow her, so anything she posts on Instagram, she has to be comfortable saying to my face or sharing with me in person. Second, if I saw something I thought was inappropriate, it would result in a penalty: I get the iTouch for a couple of days and she’d face an Instagram ban. Finally, she had to have a private profile and I could pop quiz her on her followers anytime I wanted. Anyone she accepted but didn’t really know got blocked. “Somebody from dance class” was not acceptable.

    That was all we did and so far, it has worked very well. This was before the great “iPhone contract” that went viral a little while ago, but it was in the same spirit.

    • Ooh, Lacey. I like that you pop quiz her on her followers. I might borrow this.

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