There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be involved in your teen’s life by learning about their social platforms, but some of ways moms choose to act online are super embarrassing for teenagers. If you want to be a cool mom, watch out for these four mistakes.
- Don’t Make Your Account About the Kids
Our first tip should become a rule of thumb for all moms. Don’t make your profile about someone else, make it about you. Too many moms fill their profiles with photos and info about their children that overshadow them. Other people looking at your account aren’t going to know a thing about you other than that you’re obsessed with your kids, and that’s not the most interesting detail. If you’re interested in parenting, maybe talk about your favorite parenting podcast instead. We don’t mean you shouldn’t post about your family, but you should try to cut down so you and your interests are the main features of your social account. Plus, your teens are already managing their own social accounts and they don’t need moms making them a fan page.
- Don’t Tag Your Teens
It’s fine if you want to post a family photo every once in a while, but when you do, avoid tagging your teen’s account in your post. Even though you might think they look cute, the consensus from teenagers is that they never look good in photos their parents post of them. When you tag your teen, all of their friends get to see them in a photo your teen might not feel comfortable showing off to the Internet. We know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but teens feel very strongly about being able to control their digital presence. Some teens spend a ton of time deciding what to post to grow their style or brand, which you can throw off with a seemingly harmless photo that doesn’t match their color scheme.
- Don’t Leave Public Comments on Your Teen’s Posts
It’s awkward for teens when parents comment on their posts because it introduces family dynamics in a setting where teens want to feel free from their parents. Even if it’s something totally harmless, or inspirational. Leaving a silly comment might be fun for you, but it would be better for your teen if you send the message privately. Every time you comment, it gives your teen’s friends ammunition for teasing and making assumptions about your family. And your teens want to express themselves, but they might feel like they can’t if their moms are reading and commenting on everything they say.
- Don’t Follow Your Teen’s Friends
Your circle of friends should be different than your teen’s circle of friends. When you start invading your teen’s social network through social media, your feed starts to look like your teen’s as you receive the same content. That’s a little weird. What if you leave the wrong comment because you don’t actually know your teen’s friend group? It’s okay to be interested the lives of your teen’s friends, but you shouldn’t make your social media experience about a social group that you’re not totally a part of. We think you should surround yourself with your own friends.
These are Guidelines
Of course, you can do whatever you want on social media, but if you don’t want to be an embarrassment you might want to consider these four tips. In general, you might want to see how much your kids post about you, interact with you, or tag you on their own social accounts. Use their frequency as a measurement for how often you should interact with their accounts. It’s might be very little interaction, but that’s how a lot of teen’s prefer it.
There’s nothing wrong with being involved in your teen’s life through social platforms, but If you want to be a cool mom, watch out for these four mistakes.
Andy Earle is a researcher who studies parent-teen communication and adolescent risk behaviors. He is the co-founder of talkingtoteens.com and host of the Talking to Teens podcast, a free weekly talk show for parents of teenagers.