Would You Ask Your Kids To Do the “18 for 18″ Challenge?
I'm sure you heard all about this story, but I'm interested in your thoughts on it.
If you haven't heard, here's the story. Basically a Mom up north sat her son down when he was 12 years old and offered him $1800 when he turned 18 if he stayed off social media all throughout that time. Six years, no Twitter, no Facebook, no Instragram, nothing. Apparently the Mom had seen her daughter have a hard time with social media as a teenager, and she didn't want her son to repeat those mistakes. Anyway, he took the deal, and just recently turned 18, got his payout, and got his first social media accounts. Over all, both Mom and son say it was a good experience, although it does feel a little weird now to him to have this online presence.
Well, I'm not a parent. I'm a step parent (or ex step parent? Does that still count? I kinda think it does). I don't know if the girls would accept that now, but they might have six years ago. When you're twelve, that seems like an insurmountable amount of money. Or it did when I was a kid. Even now, if someone handed me that kinda money, I wouldn't sneeze it it. But I can see a positive and a negative side to both.
I see all the time that kids have a hard time navigating social media (heck, there are a lot of hateful and ignorant ADULTS out there, not even looking at the kids). It's so hard for them to see a lot of negativity at such a young age, and it's hard for them to know what to take seriously and what to let roll off their backs. But does it benefit them not to go through that? Is it a trial by fire that they need to go through to use social media properly as an adult? Or is this the only way they can have an uncorrupted childhood? I can see how it would be hard to keep them away from it without some kind of reward or motivation. After all, if you tell a kid not to do something, they're just going to want to do it even more.
So is it something that's worthwhile? I mean, it's basically saving $25 a month for six years, if you're the adult promising this. Do you think it might be worth it to your kids to propose it? I know when I was a kid, I would have loved the chance to snap up almost two grand, but... I also didn't grow up in the world of the internet and social media.
Do you think this is a good idea? Do you think you'd try it with your kids? Do you think your kids would take the deal?