Instagram has become a major hang out for tweens. From pictures to quotes, you can learn a lot about your tween by following what she posts on Instagram. Not only is it a way to see inside her world, but it can open the door for a lot of important discussions.

Instagram is much more than a picture sharing site. It can be a window into your tween's world. And if you follow her (which shouldn't be a problem for her and if it is, you have bigger things to talk about) you can gain amazing insight into who she is. (More than you already think you know — even if you have a close relationship.)

Tips before getting started

  • Treat this as a voyeuristic experience only. Don't "like"any of her pictures and definitely don't comment.
  • When you see things you want to ask her about — positive or negative — you can do so at the dinner table, not on her feed.

You'll know who her friends are

When you follow your tween on Instagram, you can also see who she follows and who follows her. You can watch who "likes" her posts, who comments and what she comments back. Is it her on again off again BFF? Is it the boy she has a crush on? Or is it someone you don't know but seems to be a good friend?

Tips^

  • Make sure her profile is marked private, which means she must accept followers and they should obviously be followers she knows.
  • Make sure she does not allow the location of the photo to be published.
  • Learn more about privacy settings here.

She'll tell you how she sees herself

You'll learn so much about your tween by the type of pictures she posts (of herself and of others), the quotes she chooses to share, the #hashtags she includes with her photos. Is she happy? Is she bummed out? Is she feeling proud? It's amazing how much information you can get from just one picture.

Tip^ Don't forget to pay attention to what she (and others) write in the comments beneath her picture. This is where she will explain why she chose that photo, giving you even more insight.

You'll find out what she's really interested in

She might give you an "uh huh" or shrug her shoulders when you ask her if she still likes One Direction or if The Voice is still cool... but the real truth will come out on Instagram. That's where she's going to tell her friends what she's excited about. She'll post pictures of the clothes she wants to wear, the places she wants to visit, the celebrities she idolizes. She'll also post to Instagram when she's hanging out with her friends after school or even on the bus on the way home from school. Seeing how much fun she's having in her pictures — and when she's taking these pictures — will give you even more information about the kind of time she had than even she could. It will also make for an even better discussion at the dinner table tonight.

Tip^ Pay attention to the time stamp from when she's posting pictures. It's another way to keep tabs without hovering

More about your tween

Is your tween wearing more make up than you?
Should your tween be on Facebook?
How to handle tweens with attitude

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