Our baby girl sat us down for her first presentation the other night. She wants a Facebook, which we have said she could have when she reaches high school (in the fall), but she is advocating for permission to get one now.
So she gathered her thoughts, put together a PowerPoint, sent it to her sister for initial response, and then asked for a specific time to meet with us for her presentation. The more times we go through this process the more I am convinced this is one of the best parenting tools to utilize.
We learned a lot through her presentation. We learned that her strongest reason for wanting to get one now is that she has five friends moving out of state this summer and sees this as a way to keep in touch with them as they each already have Facebooks.We also learned in this culture many invitations happen through Facebook and she misses out on some stuff because of this. Hmmmmm….I didn’t know this.
She walked us through the privacy settings she plans on putting in place – it was good to know she had thought about this part of the process as well. She said she would give us her password, and follow the guidelines we already have in place for her older siblings.
She told us she didn’t need a Facebook to know how many friends she had or if she was popular or not, and that her goal is not to see how many friends she can get. She is so wise. She also said she knows other friends get together outside of school without her so she is prepared to see pictures of her friends together, without her. Again, so wise. Some of us adults would do well to really think about the pros and cons of Facebook and decided if we are mature enough to handle the status updates, pictures and other social dilemmas that social networking brings.
If you have never asked your kids to present their requests to you in a well thought out format, I would encourage you to consider it. We have been impressed each time with how much thought our kids have put into these requests. And maybe, just maybe, its possible that the act of having to gather their thoughts to present their requests makes them more intentional and causes them to think beyond simply getting what they want. And maybe, just maybe, we can be convinced to change our minds.