Imposter Apps and Surprise Costs: What Parents Should Know


I almost paid $7.99 -- a week -- for a free, popular music video app on my daughter’s iPad. If it happened to me, a relaxed yet digitally-involved mom with parental controls in place that require approval before an app can be downloaded to a kid’s device, then I suspect it’s happening to others and costing parents hundreds of dollars.

How? Confusion in app stores created by imposter apps.

It was an honest mistake my daughter and I made with what we thought was an app we're familiar with - a mistake that nearly cost me $32 a month.

The scenario was pretty ordinary. My daughter asked if she could add to her iPad. She already uses the music video app in private mode, so I clicked “approve” when the download request notification popped up on my phone. I knew she could take it from there, but then she hit a snag. She couldn’t log in and asked for help. I took a look at the screen, typed in her account info, and couldn’t log in either. Instead, I received the recognizable gray box explaining terms and conditions, and another with subscription details. For a split second I was a surprised, thinking the popular app switched to a paid model. (In the world of apps or social media, going from free to paid is a common business model.) Reading closer, I saw that it was free for the first few days, then would roll into a $7.99 a week charge. RED FLAG. That’s when I knew something was up.

An app with more than 100 million users would not go to a paid model overnight, let alone for $7.99 a week. Not Facebook, not WhatsApp, not  I realized what she had downloaded couldn't be It looked and smelled like, even down the app’s similar thumbnail image in the App Store. I hopped over to the App Store and looked at it even closer. and a few more words were in the app's name , and it was even the 1st suggested result when I did a search for in the App Store. In that moment I realized how easy it is for anyone, especially kids, to accidentally install an app that looked like the app they wanted, and to be hit with surprise charges in a very short period of time.

By my definition, an imposter app resembles other apps, often popular ones such as Instagram, Facebook or SnapChat. What’s in it for them? Money. They may have similar features or integrate with your social accounts and “enhance” what you can do on a specific social network. They’re not the official app of the established brand or social network, and can lead to surprise costs and digital environments with exposure to ads, people or material you may not want your kids to have access to.

Some of these apps are free and filled with ads, others result as sporadic $1.99, $5.99 or other charges on your wireless invoice or credit card statement. In the moment, it’s easy for a kid to approve those charges. It’s like plowing through dinner to get to dessert. Tap, tap, tapping away at anything that pops so they can get to the start screen and begin using the app.

Stepping back for a moment, though, who doesn’t love a good app? Especially a fun one, and especially kids and teens. Look-a-like apps with features that support many of the popular social media apps are popping up by the dozens. They might do cool things and be fun to use, yet many add little value and collect a lot of data or simply make a quick buck. It’s important for parents to be aware that these are out there and know what apps your kids are using to ensure online safety and avoid shock when surprise charges hit.

How do you know if your kid is using an imposter app?

  • Unexpected charges might be your first clue. $.99, $2.99, $5.00, $7.99 or more, sporadic charges you don't recognize are a red flag to double check what's on your kids' device.

  • Your child gets an on-screen prompt that requests granting the app "permission to link" or "access" another account either before or entering their username and login for another social network. (Be aware that sometimes there's a disclaimer or a box that is already checked, informing the user that by providing this information, you're giving the app permission to access the related account.)

  • The developer listed in the app store for the app doesn't match the app's name. Now, the names don't always match in order to be legit, but for the big ones you're familiar with, it's pretty recognizable. 

  • Extra words or descriptions in the app's title and description in the app store. Taking a moment to read these will give you a pretty good idea. 

How can you prevent imposter app surprises?

  • Enable the setting or parental control on your child’s device that requires approval before an app can be successfully installed. In most cases, when a child wants to install an app, he/she will receive a prompt that it’s pending approval, you’ll receive a request to approve or decline, and he/she will get a notification of the outcome.
  • Educate your kids that there are apps that look very similar to one another which can lead to unwanted charges or mislead them into thinking they're using a particular app. Encourage them to take their time by reading and taking a close look before they click install on an app.

  • Inform your kids about the importance of reading and understanding any notification or alert that pops up on their screen before entering information or clicking OK to make it go away. It’s not a bad idea to have them get in the habit of pausing to ask a parent anytime something pops up on screen any time they're in an app.

  • Manage spending notifications or spending limits under your account in the related app store (Google Play, Apple’s App Store, Windows Store, etc.) to avoid accumulating unexpected charges.

On a side note, low, weekly charges are popping up more and more in apps targeting kids and teens. I’ve noticed it when my kids ask to install apps that are suggested while they’re in another app or that they accidentally click on. Games, learning, music-themed apps (music tiles, rhythm, etc), photo apps, and more. Remind your tech-savvy family to carefully read notifications or ask you to take a look when a box pops up that requires a click or entering information before they can proceed.

How to teach our kids (and ourselves) to behave online

While we do our best as parents to model and teach kids proper etiquette, social graces, and encourage overall good behavior, there seems to be some misconception among people today that once you are online, those rules no longer apply.  

If the word is in the dictionary, then it must be relevant and necessary, right?

Merriam-Webster defines Netiquette as:

rules about the proper and polite way to communicate with other people when you are using the Internet

One of the most valuable skills you can teach your kids today is how to handle themselves online. We spend plenty of time during their early childhood teaching and modeling basic proper behavior, ranging from table manners (“Don’t talk with your mouth full”) to rules on the playground (“Play nice," “Don’t hit," “Take turns”). We proudly and patiently nurture the development of these skills so eventually when they leave the house on their own, they can thrive knowing these basic tools of survival.  

The same applies to digital responsibility. As they grow up and venture online, our hope as parents is that social skills they've learned will carry over to their online behavior.

College administrators, future employers and even parents of potential boyfriends or girlfriends frequently use Google and snooping on social media profiles to check up on your little Johnny. So it’s important for Johnny, and all teens and tweens, to be cautious about what they are doing and what they share online.

Understanding the difference between “digital life” vs. “real life” is the key to appreciating the importance of Netiquette.   The screen on a phone or computer acts as a barrier in between these two worlds. It creates the ultimate force field for feelings and emotions. It’s often very easy to type something online that your teenager may not say in person.  Words can also be easily misconstrued when there isn’t a spoken voice heard behind it. Once words are written, they can’t be taken back. Even with deleting posts, what's read or seen sticks in people's minds and let's not forget about the ability to make screen captures.

Unfortunately, kids be judged by those written words and therein lies the problem. Learning the important skill of Netiquette, however, can help teens and tweens to avoid making embarrassing or troubling mistakes.

Here are some basic guidelines about Netiquette that are great to discuss with kids of all school levels.

  • Don’t say or post anything online that you wouldn’t do or say in person

  • Be cognizant of who is behind the screen on the other side. Exercise empathy.
  • If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all. Just because you are behind a screen doesn't take the feelings away from the person on the other side.
  • Use proper grammar. People judge you by the way you write and speak. There’s no way around it.  
  • Keep a sense of modesty. If you’re not allowed to wear THAT in school, then don’t post a picture of yourself wearing it online.
  • Don’t perpetuate “bad news”. Words hurt. Share the good, not the bad.

How can parents monitor what their kids are doing online?

There are apps out there that help parents monitor anything from texts to emails, or even geolocating your child and knowing how fast they are driving. But to get a true pulse of whether your child exhibits good online behavior and decisions, you need to monitor their social media.

The DijiWise App is an all-in-one tool that captures a bird’s-eye view of what your child is posting on their social accounts. Monitoring the most popular social platforms among teens - Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, DijiWise allows you to view posts, likes, comments and more. See something that concerns you? Just save the post in-app  so you can discuss with your child or spouse later.  It’s that simple.

What do parents do when it's "too late?"

If your child is at the stage of getting ready to apply for college or future jobs, and you want to help them get a sense of how “clean” their social media record is, it's never fully too late to go back and "clean it up." There’s even an (online) app for that as well! The Social U is a platform that helps you connect, correct and continue to monitor online activity.

There are many perks of the World Wide Web. With the worries we carry day to day about our kids, their online behavior doesn't have to be one of them. With some guidance at home and engagement by parents online, it's never too late for our kids to put their best foot forward with a safe and mindful digital footprint.



10 Apps & Websites We’re Thankful For in 2016

 IMage source: Adobe

Ever find that one app that's as good as your morning coffee or you can't live without when the battery on your phone dies?

Here at DijiWise headquarters, it's plain and simple. We love apps.

Especially the ones that save us time, make life easy, are inventive, or that our kids can't get enough of. We love that technology connects, entertains, teaches and protects.

Keeping the DijiWise holiday tradition going, here's our top 10 list of apps and websites we're thankful for.

Calm - The perfect app for when you just “need a moment.” Whether you need to pause, regroup, or clear your head, this simple mindfulness meditation app will help bring clarity and peace of mind into your life. Calm is the perfect gift for yourself if you want to add a little sanity to the holiday season.

Vivino - Touting themselves as the world’s largest wine app, Vivino is also the world’s largest online community of wine enthusiasts. Snap a photo of any wine label to save to your personal wine journal. Learn it’s rating, average price and get reviews from other wine-lovers, instantly. Scan any restaurant wine list and let Vivino pick the perfect pairing for your meal.



GiftAMeal -  Ever post a pic of food? Then this is the app for you. GiftAMeal is a fast-growing startup that helps fight hunger and feeds others when you dine out. It’s as simple as that - and at zero cost to you. We discovered this app on a table tent at Applebee’s. In fact, we downloaded it and helped make a meal possible for another person before leaving our table. Each time you eat at a partner restaurant and share a pic of your meal through the app, GiftAMeal helps provide a meal to a person in need through local food pantries. You can also recommend the partner restaurant and discover other “socially conscious” restaurants for when you go out to eat. As of May 2016, GiftAMeal has donated 3,000 meals in participating cities. When good food with good company helps a good cause - it’s hard not to use this app. Watch for it in your city.

Houzz - To create the home you’ve always wanted, look no further than Houzz. Discover design ideas, find local contractors to do the work, and shop for home accessories right from the convenience of the app or website. Save ideas you search for to reference later.  Get advice, connect with designers, and hear stories about home improvement projects similar to your own.

Waze -  The world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. More than just a GPS, Waze allows you to connect with other drivers to get up to the minute, real-time traffic reports to help you save time on your daily commute or while on a holiday road-trip.

MyFitnessPal -  Counting calories and logging fitness activities during the holidays may not be your #1 priority, but if you want to stay on track, MyFitnessPal can help you do it. It’s Under Armour’s “ConnectedFitness” app, and connects to fitness wearables like FitBit or Garmin to help you achieve your personal health and fitness goals.

DijiWise - Having peace of mind and knowing your kids are showing responsibility when using social media doesn’t get any easier than with the DijiWise app. For full disclosure, it’s an app we brought to market. It helps parents stay connected to their kids by delivering social media activity in one, simple app, while encouraging conversations about digital responsibility. A few things make it stand out. DijiWise is reliable and real-time, and is one of the few apps out there that makes this possible for parents. It saves them an enormous amount of time that would be otherwise spent hopping site to site to see their kids’ social media activity. The app encourages families to start a conversation about everyday things as schedules get busier and tech changes how - and how often - we communicate. We’re thankful for how the app has sparked valuable and interesting conversations between parents, friends, teens, parenting groups, experts and more. You can follow DijiWise on social media for its popular conversation starter series, DijiTalk, which provides parents with weekly topics about social media, digital responsibility, everyday life, interests and more to chat about with their kids.

ABCYa - If there’s ever been an educational app to be thankful for, this is it. ABCYa isn’t for you, it’s for your kids (who may already be using the website or app at school). It comes highly recommended by teachers. In just one day in our house, ABCYa quickly surpassed Subway Surfer, YouTube and others as the app of choice by kids (second only to Netflix). ABCYa features learning games for kids Pre-K to 5th grade and has 6 free games each week that are great for the computer, smartphones or tablets. You can also subscribe to unlock more than 100 games categorized by grade level. Once you introduce it to a kid, you’ll find that even you bend the rules when it comes screen time.

6pm - Two words: Shopping deals. The 6pm website and crisp, clean app offer sale prices on brand name apparel that are hard to pass up. Having the app on your phone makes it easy to do a quick price or style comparison when you’re shopping in-store or online. 6pm offers free shipping when you order two or more items, and makes it easy to find fashion for less for men, women and kids. The deals change often, so don’t wait too long to complete your purchase if you find something you’re looking for. - This instant music video app is currently one of the most popular apps with teens, to the tune of more than 70 million users. This app makes our top 10 list not for its features, but for the creativity and fun it brings out in its users. We’ve witnessed the app bring out a love for music in the shyest of kids, laughter and collaboration between cousins and friends, and hours of fun at get togethers. brings out music, movement and creativity in everyone, and is easy to use. Users create 15-second videos lip syncing (and often dancing) to clips of songs across genres, or they can produce videos with original audio. Friends on can do duets while in different locations, and “produce” videos with a handful of editing features - including splicing, speed, reverse play, and popular sticker filters. For parents, the privacy settings on the app are appealing - accounts can be public or set to private so only friends can see the videos. You can also install the app on your phone and log in with your child’s account to stay aware of their “Musical.lys.” A word of caution, the app has a “live” feature that lets users to live broadcast - a feature for parents to be aware of and discuss with their kids, if needed. Some say music makes the world go round, and may prove that to be true.

Want to discover a few more great apps and websites out there? Check out our list from 2015 of apps we're thankful for.

Cover Image: Adobe










Parenting in the Digital Age: Practicing Mindfulness



Featured on

I recently attended a leadership seminar through my local school district where we had the opportunity to learn about a new initiative in our schools of incorporating “mindfulness” into our educational system.  Realizing I already practice “mindfulness” techniques in my own life, I was very excited to learn how practicing this theory can be life-changing for our children, teachers, administration and our community.

One of the leading reasons for bringing this practice into our school community is to help manage stress. It really got me thinking.

How did we as a society get so stressed out?!  

Why is suicide the leading cause of death amongst teens?

Why are so many teens and adults on anti-anxiety medication?

What is so different about growing up today compared to my youth?

The first “difference” that came to mind was social media and digital technology.

How can we apply the practice of mindfulness to ease the additional anxiety and stress that is caused by social media and everyday living in the Digital Age?

What is Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment. When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.”

Excerpt from

What are some examples of Mindfulness practice?

Yoga, meditation, writing, listening to music, going outside, gardening walking… any activity that helps you achieve body-mind balance and bring calm and peace for even a short period of time during the day.

Why do we need this?

Teens/tweens are naturally wired for self-consciousness. What is so different from when I grew up, is that the comparison, competition, self-doubt, etc., stopped when we walked in the front door after a day at school. We were able to “turn-off” and “tune-out” social pressures because we didn’t have the technology to keep these channels “turned-on” 24/7.  Today, socializing, especially through social media, IS 24/7.

Socializing and social comparison begins first thing in the morning and ends last thing at night. Predictably, psychology research consistently shows that social media is making kids unhappier and more narcissistic.” --(“Before you scroll, try this..”by Christopher Willard)

Benefits of Mindfulness

An article on the website “Greater Good, The Science of a Meaningful Life” identifies why practicing mindfulness has such great benefits.

  • Mindfulness is good for our bodies: A seminal study found that, after just eight weeks of training, practicing mindfulness meditation boosts our immune system’s ability to fight off illness.

  • Mindfulness is good for our minds: Several studies have found that mindfulness increases positive emotions while reducing negative emotions and stress. Indeed, at least one study suggests it may be as good as antidepressants in fighting depression and preventing relapse.

  • Mindfulness changes our brains: Research has found that it increases density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy.

  • Mindfulness helps us focus: Studies suggest that mindfulness helps us tune out distractions and improves our memory and attention skills.

  • Mindfulness fosters compassion and altruism: Research suggests mindfulness training makes us more likely to help someone in need and increases activity in neural networks involved in understanding the suffering of others and regulating emotions. Evidence suggests it might boost self-compassion as well.

  • Mindfulness enhances relationships: Research suggests mindfulness training makes couples more satisfied with their relationship, makes each partner feel more optimistic and relaxed, and makes them feel more accepting of and closer to one another.

  • Mindfulness helps schools: There’s scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention. Teachers trained in mindfulness also show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy.

Practicing Mindfulness- tools for teens and families

If we as a society want to help manage stress and anxiety, reduce teen suicide, help kids cope, and just overall be more healthy and productive citizens… we need to guide them (and ourselves) to useful tools and techniques.

Activities for families:

  • Breathing Exercises — Can be beneficial any time of day. Try it before the kids go to school or on the way to work. It’s a much better way to start the day than in a stressful state. Take 3–5 minutes to just breathe in through the nose and then let out a big exhale. Repeat.

  • Mindful Appreciation — Make it a goal each day to write down 5 things we are thankful for. Have a blank dry erase board or chalkboard available and start each day by writing down one thing. Have your family add more throughout the day.  

  • Yoga — Enroll in a yoga class with your kids, or practice on your own in the park or in a quiet corner of the house.

  • Walking — A quiet walk in nature is good for the mind and the body. No need to talk, just enjoy the peaceful time in the great outdoors.

  • Meditation — Take some quiet time to relax and think of something that makes you happy or calms you.

  • Body Scan— Technique to help the body relax. Start at the outer parts of the body and work inward. Think of your fingers relaxing, hands, wrists, toes, feet, ankles, calves, knees — upward. This is a great tool for all ages and even helps weary and stressed out parents get needed rest.

 Thanksgiving themed Mindfulness exercise - Use a real or artificial pumpkin and have each family member (or friends and visitors) write down what they are thankful for. 

Thanksgiving themed Mindfulness exercise - Use a real or artificial pumpkin and have each family member (or friends and visitors) write down what they are thankful for. 

No surprise, when looking for mindful tools, look no further than the app stores. Both of these are available on the App Store and Google Play.

  • Calm (  — Relax with Calm, a simple mindfulness meditation app that brings clarity and peace of mind into your life.

  • Stop Breathe Think ( — Geared towards teens/tweens to learn meditation yet perfect for all ages.

Practice Mindfulness while using social media

  • Before you start clicking and scrolling, just breathe. Take a few seconds to take a few deep inhales and a few deep exhales. This helps you calm and center yourself.

  • Ask yourself these questions: Why am I going to this site? What do I expect to see/learn? How am I going to react what I see/learn? Am I going to let it get to me? Am I here to stay connected or am I just bored or need a distraction?

  • Take a few more deep breaths in and out before engaging

  • Ask yourself: how did what you saw make you feel? Happy? Sad? Angry? Jealous? Concerned? Confused?

  • Think about how you want to engage with what you saw: Like it, share it, comment on it, do nothing?

  • Take a few more deep breaths in and out and then react.

This type of exercise can help one understand how to use social media mindfully. Being aware of emotions can help your kids (and yourself) make better decisions on how to react and how often to use certain social platforms.

For more on practicing mindfulness when scrolling social:

Parting thoughts

Parenting in the Digital Age is no easy task. If we can use simple techniques for ourselves and for our families to help manage stress and anxiety in everyday living, we will help foster a community of wellness that will perpetuate beyond this generation.






Monitoring kids' social media activity doesn't make you this



This post originally appeared on @Medium

If you're raising kids and have ever hoped you handled something the right way or made the right parenting decision, you're not alone. These thoughts might surface multiple times a week, and if you're like me, you realize your magician and troubleshooting skills are rapidly improving as you gain new perspective on the fly about life, your kids, and you.

“Do this” “Don’t do that” “You have to clean your room before you go.” “Let’s go there this weekend.” “Will their parents be home?” “If you see this on the floor, please pick it up!” “You can’t watch that.” “Who’s going with you?” “You can’t drive with friends in the car yet.” “How was your day?” “Want to run here with me?”

We say these things instinctively because we're being ourselves. How we parent and the decisions we make draw from how we were raised, adults we grew up around, things we've learned from other parents -- or plain old experience because we’ve already been there.

Yet, each of us have those moments where we think to ourselves about the parents we are and want to be -- or the parent we don't want to be. Few things bring that more into question than when your kids show interest in using social media or getting mobile devices.


If you’ve ever stressed about any of these questions, there’s no right or wrong. You’ve taken the most important step - you’re an engaged parent thinking about your child’s digital responsibility.

For 17 years, “communicator” has been associated with my career title and responsibilities in some fashion. 10 years into it I got the promotion many people dream about - albeit at home. I added mom to my title. My journey continued as a “working mom,” helping brands understand digital and emerging media, and translating consumer behavior and interests into opportunities. After many years of connecting ideas with companies, and companies with people like you and me, that “promotion to mom” I received (twice, to be exact) handed me a new lens and started to shed a different light on my favorite subject matter -- specifically the dynamics and impact of digital and social media on people. On families. On individuals. So I turned the tables.

Upon coming together with other like-minded parents and business pros at a startup called DijiWise, we took what we knew about business, media -- and parenting, and channeled it into an effort to encourage digital responsibility.

Diving into the topic of digital responsibility with communities of parents, pre-teens, teenagers, and even millennials, I’ve quickly learned people are as opinionated and protective about their views of digital media, social media, and what’s considered “private” as they are about politics and religion. Especially when it comes to the topic of parents wanting to know what their kids are doing on social media.

For some families, checking social media activity is a black and white issue - you do or you don’t, and that’s how it goes. No if, and’s or but’s about the decision (even if the kid doesn’t like it). Some moms and dads don’t stay connected to their kids’ social media activity because they don’t want to be “that type of parent.” Some parents do, because that’s simply part of the ground rules they lay in their house when their child gets a phone or tablet. Others want to - but are worried about being “that type of parent.”

What type of parent is that?

Here are 10 things monitoring your kids’ social media doesn’t make you:

  1. An overbearing parent. Whether you’re raising teenagers, pre-teens or grade schoolers, an informed parent who’s in the loop in case your kid needs a little guidance online once in awhile, doesn’t mean you’re overbearing.

  2. A control freak. Let’s be honest - even the biggest control freaks among us learned long ago that there are some things you have to let go of or you’ll drive yourself crazy.

  3. Old school. Just plain inaccurate because social media wasn’t around when we were growing up. But really, having relationships with your kids is the same as it was growing up, it just looks different these days. Whether you’re chatting face-to-face or staying connected with them online, it’s parenting. (And what’s wrong with old-school!?)

  4. A helicopter parent. What this means differs parent to parent, but basically, you know where your kids are, what they’re doing, and aren’t far away - physically or figuratively. But one thing’s for sure - I don’t know many parents who ever think, “Shoot, wish I wasn’t there to help them through that,” or “Boy, too bad I was there to encourage them to do something differently.”

  5. Bossy. Well, maybe you have your moments. But, hey. It’s your house. You’re raising kids, not BFFs. It’s okay to be the boss.

  6. Untrusting. In fact, the complete opposite. When you give your child a smartphone or tablet, you’re giving them access to the world in the palm of their hand. That’s a big symbol of trust. Like manners at a friend’s house, dance, school or restaurant, digital media and social media are extensions of environments where parents can put faith in how you’ve raised your kids to-date. And just like learning to ride a bike or getting their driver’s license, you’ll always be there to help keep them safe and enjoy the ride.

  7. A stalker. Remember keeping a close eye on them during all those trips to the playground? Wondering what friends and parents will be somewhere when you drop them off? Watching their recitals, being there for games, and riding along as they prep for their driver’s test? Ever think you were a stalker then? All good. Don’t worry.

  8. Nosy. Sure there may become a time where your kids don’t want your nose into everything they’re doing, everything their friends are posting or every message they get. Teens need privacy. However, setting the stage early - and leading by example -  will help them make better choices about their online behavior. Plus, being in the know helps you start conversations with your kids about their everyday life - something that gets harder to do as they get more involved in other activities and spend more time away from home.

  9. Overprotective. In fact, it means you understand how the world works and the good and the bad that can come with digital media. It’s not much different than to wanting to protect our kids from bee stings, broken bones, bad friends or dangerous situations. Staying connected to their social media activity is a bit of parental instinct, and protects your kids while allowing your them to be themselves and possibly trip or fail, and learn from it.

  10. Chicken Little. The sky is falling! Everything that could go wrong when your child uses social media has probably crossed your mind, right? Embarrassing themselves, becoming sedentary, meeting a predator, talking to strangers, sexting, seeing something you’re not ready for them to see yet, being on the receiving or giving end of bullying, they’ll never listen to you again...the list is endless. But the sky isn't falling when your kids use social media. In fact, being aware of their activity on social helps you minimize these things from happening - and places you there to act or help when you need to.

What monitoring your kids social media DOES make you is an involved parent who’s connected with their kids in a modern and special way -- one that’s important in this era. It also opens the door to endless opportunities to start conversations.

Let’s look at this from the wisdom of an expert. An experienced police detective once told of how time and time again people tell him they have a gut feeling about things, and most of the times, through evidence (and the reason he’s on the case in the first place), their gut feelings prove to be right.

He went on to explain we have gut feelings and doubt them, when in fact, we should follow them.

The correlation to being a parent and a detective isn’t intentional. That’s not the point. It’s what we do with our gut feelings that is. It’s pretty simple - we should worry less about a label someone might give us for a choice we make, and follow our guts if we think we should do something that’s right for our kids. Staying connected to your kids’ social media activity isn’t complicated, unless we allow it to be.

Your head and heart have gotten you this far as a parent. Let’s keep using them, and your kids - and you - will do great. And what better type of parent is there than that?

Know someone like this? Share this with a spouse, friend or parent you think could use your vote of support, a little encouragement, or a good read to brighten their day.