May 21, 2024
‘Not letting me on Snapchat was the best thing my mum ever did for me’: how to talk to your kids about social media

When her 14-year-old child asked for social media, Guardian advice columnist Annalisa Barbieri held firm. Thank goodness, says her daughter, now grown up

As a parent, you prepare yourself for various milestones: their first tooth, first step, first word. But here we were, my eldest daughter, Raffaella, and I, and it was her first real push asking for social media. She was 14. She had talked about it before, but more in curiosity – this time she was serious. She wanted it; specifically Snapchat. And she was at the negotiating table with that focused, steely look in her eye that I have always admired.

I started negotiations with a simple question: “Why?” Her reasons were all to do with not wanting to feel left out. Entirely understandable. But, I explained to her, if someone wanted to leave you out they still could, by jumping from one app to another until – what? You were no longer the driver in your own life but following someone else’s agenda. Where would it stop? And what if something were shared among the whole school or taken out of context?

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