One of the biggest questions parents are asking about technology and phones — is it okay for my teens to have their own social media accounts? If so, what apps are okay social media for teens? Today, I’m sharing some things I’ve learned about social media for teens and how to teach kids to be safe with social media. Read to the end to learn about our social media pact that has been so valuable in our family!

The answer about social media for our family has been actually different with each kid.

And the even “deeper” answer is something that may surprise you.

No matter how long you hold off letting your kids have their own social media accounts, eventually they are going to get their own. It’s important for me to be able to train my kids to use social media in a smart and mindful manner.


Should kids have social media?

Ok, so this is interesting. I would tell every parent, until I’m blue in the face, to hold off on letting kids have social media for as long as humanly possible. It honestly “steals” kids from real life. It gives a skewed view of the world. It is a catalyst for comparison leading to depression. It is a comparison of everyone’s best when you are carrying around your own “worst” in your heart.

The interesting part? Well, we tried to be as deliberate as humanly possible about social media for our kids. But eventually we let our teenagers have social media. I think more important than WHEN you give in to social media, the real question is HOW.

Social media is not going away. So let’s remember we have a powerful opportunity when kids are home to help guide them as to how to use it appropriately. We have the responsibility to teach our kids there are two sides to this thing. The good and the bad. The time-sucker and the connection possible. We have an opportunity to teach kids to learn to control social media before they morph into the vortex of it all and it controls them.


What limits should be set?

So, when kids are young, and they reach that magical age where you are ready to let even a small part of social media in, there are awesome limits you can set. Because let’s be honest, no kid, no matter how smart and mature they are, is going to be immune to the magnetic pull of social media. There are amazing apps that can help (I loved “our pact” when my kids were younger). You can set time limits on Apple phones. You can put passwords on and build firewalls.

And those things are great. But also fallible. Kids/teens are smart. They know how to screen record passcodes. They know how to get around most any limits we may place.

So I’m here to tell you a secret:

The most important thing you can do to safeguard your kids and help them keep to any limits you set is to foster a good relationship with them.

Show them you love them. Respect them and want the best for them. Let them know you know they’re not going to be perfect at this. Heck, neither are you, right? Help them see the “big picture” of the power of social media.


Back when I went to Collin Kartchner’s seminar, we learned so many jaw-dropping, eye-opening facts. We came home and had several more discussions about social media and made a pact. I highly suggest that you do this with your kids, too. This pact can be whatever you want it to be, but ours was simple. This was an informal pact, very different from our technology contract.

As parents, we promised to be open, to listen, and to be preset. Often kids just need to know we’re there for them without judgment. It’s hard to be a kid today and sometimes kids are exposed to things through no fault of their own. Other times, they make mistakes and might feel too much guilt or shame to share. But if you keep that door open, it makes it easier for them to come to you when they make a mistake.

As kids and teens, our kids promised to share more of their online experience. They promised to be more transparent. This pact was a simple way to show love and also allow both sides to be more accountable when it comes to social media.

Seal your social media pact with a handshake and call it a day! Hopefully establishing that this is important to you will allow for greater transparency overall without you feeling controlling, as a parent.


Raising teens is a lot of work! Here are some of my favorite tips for connecting and helping teens become successful humans.

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