How do I ask my parents to let me on Instagram? That phrase has actually been a consistent search for people who have found my blog. I don’t know if I’ve ever properly answered that question but I imagine they are landing here because I talk about social media often, including Instagram.
The good news is that these kids are wanting to ask their parents. So I imagine they are ‘youngish’ and their parents still have good control over what they do online. It seems however that there is an inability to effectively communicate with their parents as to why they want to open an Instagram account. Or maybe there has been a blanket refusal on the part of the parent in the past for all social media sites. If there are age restriction issues or family values that prohibit these sites then you need to let it go until you are older.
This is not a post about how to ‘get around’ parents boundaries or rules. It is not about how to pull the wool over the eyes of parents. Kids can do that already very well. It is about helping parents and kids communicate. It is about giving kids and parents the tools to help understand each other better when it comes to using social networking sites. It is about keeping trust and showing responsibility.
So here is my advice for those wanting to ask their parents if they can open an Instagram account.
Sit down with your parents and explain that this is something you feel you can use in a positive way.
- You will open an account that is private
- You will only accept followers from people you know in real life and are a positive addition to your life
- You will allow your parent/s to follow you.
- You will allow your parent to scrutinise the photos you put up
- You will delete any photo your parent deems is inappropriate for whatever reason.
- You will not include in your profile reference to your email address, or any other username for any other social media, such as Kik, Ask.Fm or Qooh.me. (however if you are not allowed on Instagram I am assuming you are not allowed on these either)
- You will not comment negatively on anyone else’s photos
- You will not swear in the comments
- You will not engage in arguments that are nasty or aggressive
- You will speak out to an adult if there is any interaction that makes you uncomfortable
If you do not abide by these rules, then mum or dad will have every right to insist you close down the account until you are able to use it more responsibly.
Parents need to remember that these sites are not only a big part of their world and their social interaction, but can also be a way to express themselves as well as experiment with creativity. My son follows some great photographers and gets to see some pretty amazing images. They are not all teenage selfies. Allowing our kids to use sites that we are able to closely monitor can help instil in them good online behaviours that they take with them to other sites as they get older and our control begins to diminish.
Kids must also remember however, that ultimately it is the parents that make the rules for your family and these must always be respected, regardless of what the other kids are doing.