Here are a few things we do to help kids and parents:
- Teach kids internet safety and guidelines and personal boundaries for TV/Movies, Video games (I have a whole lesson series I lead on this, probably every year or every other year. If anyone wants to see my notes, email me and I can send you a copy)
- No TECH Policy: To help make sure kids are paying attention and staying focused during church, we do not allow kids to use their cell phone or iPads during church. We do think it's cool that some of them have their Bibles on iPhones, but we also want to teach kids to look up Scripture verses in an actual Bible. The kind with pages. We have recently begun enforcing this policy, and it has been a great thing. Kids with phones get PLENTY of time on their phones when they are not in church.
- No Pics from Volunteers: Our volunteers are not allowed to post pics of kids on their personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (or any other social media) sites. Pictures of kids can only come from the children's pastor, and only with written permission from parents. No names or ages will ever be posted online.
- Twitter & Facebook for Parents and Volunteers: We do encourage parents and volunteers to interact with each other and our children's ministry leaders through social networking. We have an active children's ministry Twitter account and Facebook group. We keep parents and volunteers connected and informed through these, and other, forms of social media.
- 0 Interaction Adults + Kids Policy: Our policy about adults and kids interacting online or through cell phones = we do not allow it for any reason. Kids are not allowed to send private emails to their adult volunteer leaders, and adults are not allowed to have private text or phone conversations with kids from the children's ministry. We do not allow any adult volunteers to be Twitter or Facebook friends with any kids in the children's ministry. This may seem extreme, but these policies are in place to protect the children and adults involved in our ministry.
What are some other issues about social media and children's ministry that you are thinking about?