We know that Instagram numbers matter to our daughters.
You are so perfect.
Love you so much.
The feedback our girls receive on their Instagram posts matters even more.
But does your daughter know what matters to you when it comes to her presence online?
We’ve given our girls permission to have an Instagram account, but are we teaching them how to appropriately represent themselves on the popular social media site?
Instagram offers us a great excuse to communicate with our daughter about our family value system. Talk to her about how she posted images and words matter. Help her understand that what she does and says online makes up her reputation.
There simply isn’t a need for turning the camera around on yourself, puckering up your lips, and posting such an image. I’m all for girlfriends posing and making silly faces together, but let’s raise confident girls who don’t need to post continuous photos of their faces. Just say no to the solo selfie.
Teach your daughter that posed selfies are unbecoming and unnecessary.
2. Provocative swimsuit photos
There is no need, at any age, to show your body online to anyone no matter how cute or fit you may be. Living in Arizona where the sun always shines means girls are constantly in bikinis poolside. I have asked my daughter to be mindful of posting photos online of herself, alone or with friends, in swimwear.
When we vacationed at the beach last year, my daughter asked me to take some pictures of her and then asked me to help her pick appropriate ones to post. The only images of her in a two-piece that appear on Instagram are ones that I have taken and we approved together.
Teach your daughter the importance of modesty online.
3. Her entire life
We should all be living our best life offline. Social media should only contain a fraction of the goodness that is really going on in our lives. All of us know people who post every detail of their days online. We know where they are, who they’re with, what they’re doing, and what food they are eating. There is nothing interesting about the person who puts every minute of their life continuously on social media.
Teach your daughter to think of Instagram as a snapshot of her life not a diary of her entire existence.
4. Images to hurt another
My daughter knows I don’t think it’s a good idea to post big group photos of girls at parties because someone will inevitably be hurt by the fact they weren’t included in the fun. Not worth it. I ask her to always think of others before posting something on Instagram. On the other hand, I also tell her that she can’t always worry about how someone else might react to her photo either.
Teach your daughter that if she questions whether she should post something, to trust her instinct and forgo it.
5. Material Purchases
This is an absolute no-no. Never post new shoes, new clothes, new electronics, new anything. Who cares? We want to raise humble kids who aren’t defined by the things they own. The haul and unboxing videos on YouTube are a prime example of what not to do.
Teach your daughter that social media is to be used for highlighting her relationships and experiences, not to brag about purchased material items.
6. Inappropriate comments
Not only do people view our original posts but they also see what we comment on friend’s pictures.
A teacher alerted me to some smiley, yet off-color comments that were made on one of my daughter’s posts. She talked with her and explained to the other girls why they needed to rethink and remove their comments.
Teach your daughter to understand that the comments she makes and receives matter as much as her posts.
7. Anything negative
College admissions officers will absolutely pull up our daughter’s social media accounts one day. Questionable language and negative posts can make the school of her dreams hesitant in accepting her a few years from now. Help your child understand that how she represents herself online today will matter later.
Let’s teach our daughters that how they represent themselves on social media can affect their future positively or negatively.
Yes, the likes, followers, and positive feedback all matter to our daughters.
Teaching self-worth, modesty, empathy, humility, and appropriate communication matter to me as her mother and I’m using Instagram as an avenue to instill these important values.
What values are you teaching your daughter through her smartphone and social media use?