Older teens laughing at computer screen

Developmental Stages of Access to Social Media Grades 11-12, Part II

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Will the torment ever end?  Yes, with this column.  We have finally reached the end of this interminable series on trudging through developmental considerations for access to and use of social media and the internet.  Eleventh and 12th graders use of cell phones, social media accounts and video games will be covered and then we’re outa here.

Cell Phones.  By this age, your kid should have no confusion about what is and is not appropriate when it comes to cell phone use.  Appropriate etiquette and the use of internet access, apps, texting and photo/video features should all be of little concern (given all the training and consequences you have imposed from earlier developmental periods).  You may need to do some reminding with etiquette.  (Though you shouldn’t have to do this often and get immediate compliance rather than complaining when you do remind them.)  During this developmental stage you should be able to safely Monitor Only With Cause.  There are still limits to what you will appropriate on a device you are paying for.  If they don’t use it appropriately (within broad limits), simply turn off the service and require them to either earn enough money to pay you or get their own service.  Broad limits would mean only things like doing drug deals, sexting and grossly inappropriate communications like extreme threats, bullying or graphic sexual material.

Video Games.  You shouldn’t have to set any limits on your kid’s video game play.  They should be doing that on their own by now.  They ought to be able to put a lid on their profanity laced attempts to kill off large numbers of innocent bystanders.  If your kid spends all their time on video games at this age you should be more concerned about their lack of a life and working toward meaningful life goals.  Give up trying to redirect them.  Just permanently remove the video game machine and deny them access to the internet in your house. It is probably time for you to consult with a mental health professional to see what is going on and to get some ideas for trying one last time to get your kid back on a productive track.

Social Media Accounts.  By the time they are a senior, you should not be having any real need to intervene on their social media posting.  The issue of monitoring their social media accounts now becomes about your kid thinking about what will happen if serious people see their page.  They will be fast approaching the age of trying to get some kind of meaningful employment.  And, increasingly, employers search the web to check out prospective employees.  You should continue to be a friend to the account so you can nag them about keeping it clean and to find out what they have been doing.

Blogs, chat rooms and other online diaries.  Nothing you can do about this now.

By this time, if you have younger kids, you will have to modify all the suggestions from this series to adapt to the newest versions of technology and internet evil that has been invented to insinuate itself into the mind and morals of your kid.    Damn you Satan!


originally published on www.brentwoodhomepage.com

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