Mama, You Have a Right



My friend and fellow Proverbs 31 Ministries‘ speaker, Nicki Koziarz, is my guest today. This is the encouragement and “permission” we all need. 


A few weeks ago one of my daughter’s came to me in tears. She held up her phone, words escaped her. I took her phone and looked at something someone from her school had just posted on Instagram.

It was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen.

It isn’t my story to tell, so that’s as far as I’ll go. But I don’t write this article today to simply share something disturbing that happened to one of my girls.

I write this article today as a plea to moms across the United States and the World.

It is time for us to become consistently involved in our kids social media.

When my girls received their phones, it came with a contract. A binding agreement that they would take care of their phone, use it for appropriate reasons and that they would be financially responsible if something happened to the phone. But that contract also came with a clause.

The Momma Has The Right clause.

The Momma Has The Right clause states, at any moment, of any given day, for any reason, I may pick up their phones and look through them. That’s right: text messages, Instagram accounts, Tweets, emails … if its on there, I can look through it.

And I do.

Sound a little helicopter momish?

Well, while I hardly blink at fickle opinions of me, let me share with you why this is so incredibly important to me today.

I am a mom who loves other moms.

For most of my motherhood journey I have invested time, energy and efforts into mom-centered groups. My best friends are moms and I try to take time to get to know as many of my girl’s friend’s moms as I can.

But I’m seeing something so tragic happen within the motherhood sisterhood.

We are becoming parenting cowards.

Our kids are like little super geniuses because they have access to every piece of information they’d ever like to know. We are intimidated by how incredibly smart they are. And we just are not sure if we can stay a step ahead of them in this game of technology.

We can’t. Therefore, we don’t try.

So we say things like, “Oh, I just don’t have time for that.”

And no, we don’t have time for this!

We juggle complicated schedules that no mom in any other generation has had to deal with and we have bought into the lie that to have peace is to have quiet.

So, we toss those kids phones because it does just that … keeps things quiet.

But momma, the things happening on those phones are anything but quiet, sweet or simple.

Our kids are being rated for everything … the type of picture they take, their profiles, their clothes, and their hair. Mean girl tactics have escalated to new levels thanks to the instantaneousness of picture posting.

And our kid’s feeds are filled with desperate cries for attention and help.

We tell ourselves they need privacy and excuse ourselves out of the entire ordeal.

I don’t judge parents who don’t allow their kids to have access to social media … to each his own. But can I be honest? If I took my girls off social media now it would be the easy route for me.

Seriously. Having to listen for God’s discernment in knowing when to pick up their phones, watching their facial and body expressions change while they are scrolling and asking who is so-in-so … it can be exhausting.

But at the end of this raising children journey, I would rather be completely exhausted from investing all I had then wondering if I did all I could.

I’m not some foolish woman who believes there’s a perfect formula for raising our kids and protecting them from harm. But I believe in the power of having access to what my kids are doing and being exposed to in all things, including social media.

And I won’t close my eyes and pretend like it’s not happening. Because it is.

Mommas, pick up those kids phones. You have the right. Let’s stop being afraid to enter the hard, unknown places with our kids.

And when you do find something which might be going against the values you are instilling in your kids … talk about it.

Don’t yell. Don’t freak out. [Learn from my mistake.]

But I can promise there will be rolling eyes no matter what.

The rolling eyes. Oh the rolling eyes.

And maybe your kids won’t hardly listen to what you are concerned about. But the point is they will know you are present in this very un-present world of theirs. And even if they act like they don’t want you there, they need you there.



  1. When the bible speaks of parenting it is in an active role not passive. Excellent article.

  2. I appreciate what you’re saying ! I agree that we have every right to be Looking at all the stuff on their phones. There are so many different apps that they have on their phones- it’s overwhelming! Snap chat and kik stink because kids can erase things without us knowing. I also have something set up where I can see some texts- but it’s only between non iPhone users through Verizon. Anyway point being that I have been pretty involved since she was about 15 with the phone “snooping” she’ll be 18 in Nov and I feel like I need to back off. I comment all the time “do you think that’s appropriate” , “really? Why would you post that” It boils down to her doing what she wants to do anyway. It’s so frustrating that I can’t make her do anything- she says she’s a believer- but you wouldn’t know it from her social media. Teens though are quite a different species all together! Ups and downs- highs and lows- ….I need to pray more!!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      You are right about there being an appropriate for them to call the shots, Veronika. On our knees we go!

  3. This makes me feel so much better!! I’ve always felt that doing this with my kids (mostly at this point my 13 yo son) is okay, and I never feel badly about it! I think it is a tragedy that more parents DON’T!! It’s obvious when you read some of the things these kids post that they are begging for attention! And there have been a few times I know my son was happy I ‘caught’ him, as he knew what he was doing was wrong….”but everyone’s doing it” so he felt like he had to, too! Then I stepped in, and he had a REASON not to continue!!

    Thank you so much for helping this mamma feel validated in her efforts, and for helping me see the reasons WHY I need to continue investing in my child’s life!

    1. No more momma guilt!! Pick up that phone. 🙂 Yes, yes yes!!

  4. Preach it Nicki!!! I so love this. You are so right. My husband is a deputy sheriff in the county we live He says over 75% of his calls could be stopped if parents would be parents and not friends.

    I can say I’m glad I have a boy. I know it is just as tough, but it just seems like girls are so much meaner than we were. I just don’t understand. There are days I would love to have a girl, but then there are days I’m glad I have a son.

    Love to listen and read what you have to say – GREAT JOB!!!

  5. nancys1128 says:

    Great message! I just shared it on my FB page. I am that mom who peruses my daughter’s Instagram from time to time. She recently added SnapChat to her phone. Still processing that one, but her criteria for accepting “friend requests” there, as well as other social media places, is solid so no worries yet. And she’s actually unfriended/unfollowed people in the past. So much of this didn’t even exist when her brothers were her age. We have no previous experience to draw from like we did for most other areas of life. And she being a girl does make things different, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.

  6. Outstanding article and advice! I monitored my daughter’s phone and social media and we still had issues. Now she is a college student, and I pray she is continuing to make good decisions. Because of all I have already dealt with, her younger siblings’ access to technology is moving at a snail’s pace! Parenting is definitely not for cowards! Thank you for the affirmation.

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