Lately, more and more parents are opposed to their kids having social media accounts. Not only does it distract from important daily tasks like homework and chores, but kids who are glued to social media miss out on valuable opportunities to be active, creative, and to develop their talents.
According to recent studies, social media can affect children’s mental health, especially the more they use it. Their level of contentment decreases and their unrealistic expectations rise. The likelihood of depression increases and teens especially engrossed in social media can be more narcissistic, anti-social, and aggressive (source: American Psychological Association).
Although there are benefits to having social media like networking and social interaction, it’s the negative effects like cyber bullying, pornography, and downright uselessness (um, cat videos…enough said) that are making parents get creative with their bribes.
The Genius Parenting Bribe Kids Are Totally Taking
Now some parents taking bribery to a whole new level. Basically, these parents are offering up some pretty colorful prize packages if their kids stay social media free for a year.
For example, a personal friend offered her 14-year-0ld daughter $100 a year each year she chooses to be social media free. The extra dough was enough for her to take the bait and this friend has reported huge successes. Her daughter is $200 richer so far.
Other parents have offered their children a special trip each year, a shopping spree, and even a new car after finishing middle school and high school social media free.
It’s genius, but can kids really go social media free?
What would it take for teens to be truly social media-free?
As many of us rebels without a cause can attest, if kids want to do something, they’ll find a way. In fact, if my parents had really wanted me to do something they should have made a rule against it.
No dating boys who get straight A’s. That is an order!
If kids really want to be on social media, they will find a way to do it. Maybe the key isn’t in hard and defined rules, but incentives that really resonate with kids.
Incentive Ideas for Being Social Media-Free
If you’re ready to give it a try, here are some “no social media incentives” you can try:
- Private pool party
- Free movies for a year (movie gift card)
- Free gas for a year (gas card)
- Tickets to see their favorite sports team
- Clothes shopping spree
- They get to redecorate their room
- A designer bag or pair of sunglasses
- Paintball party
- Extended curfew
- Concert tickets
Helping your kids realize now that there is much more to life than social media just might be a crucial turning point that will benefit their lives forever.