Should I let my student be on social media?
How do I keep up with new apps and trends?
How do I set up healthy guidelines for my student with technology?
These questions and many more might be ones you find yourself asking while trying to effectively raise your middle schooler. You can’t prepare for every possible situation you might encounter as a parent, but you can create proactive structures and guidelines to help your student experience God’s best in the areas of social media and technology.
1 // HAVE A PLAN
The best strategy for parenting is to have a plan when it comes to social media and technology. Whether it’s before or after your student has a phone or more free access to technology, create a plan for how you’d like to navigate these areas with your student.
2 // BE CONSISTENT
Create consistent guidelines and rules and then stick to them. If you want your student’s room to be technology-free (we support this!), be consistent in enforcing it. If there’s a time that you want your family to be off technology at night, be consistent.
3 // MODEL
Whether you realize it or not, your student watches what you do and will someday (and even now) do many of the things you do. Model healthy behaviors with technology and social media in your home to help your student see it firsthand.
4 // KEEP YOUR COOL
It’s inevitable that your student will search for or do something that will make you want to cry and scream at the same time. Instead of reacting out of anger, let grace and love prevail. Yes, have (consistent) consequences. Yes, have truth-filled conversations.
5 // STAY INFORMED
There are many fantastic resources available for parents to learn about current trends, social media, and apps. Here are two that we’d recommend starting with.
6 // NETWORK
Some of the best strategies for navigating these topics with your own student might come from other parents. Continue to expand your network of other parents you trust for support and guidance.
7 // GIVE YOURSELF GRACE
Remember, just as much as your student is learning how to navigate all this, so are you. If you can give grace to your student, you must give yourself grace as well.
8 // PRAY
Fitting for the last tip, right? This is where it all starts. Ask the God who loves you to give you wisdom and direction. You’re not alone in this.
In a world where everything is becoming more and more digitally focused, it can feel overwhelming to keep up with so many changes. However, the key is to help your student find the best structure for them so they can navigate whatever comes their way. Remember, proactive over reactive. As you help your student understand God’s best for them in these areas, remember to continue to lean on God for understanding. Nothing surprises him. He chose you as an influence in your student’s life for a reason–to continue to help your student become like Jesus, and join him on mission.
For more information about our Student Ministry or to connect with our Student Ministry team, click the button here!
✍️ Credit :: Richard Koch
Middle School Pastor
🎨 Credit :: Colin McFarland
Digital Marketing Manager