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Kelly Ripa's tip for keeping kids safe online

Worried about your kids' safety online? Check out Kelly Ripa's best social media parenting tip—it's getting mixed reviews.

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Photo: Diane Cohen/FameFlynet

Welcome to the teen years, Kelly Ripa!

Yes, the Live with Kelly and Michael cohost is raising teens now and admits she’s a little out of her element.

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“We’re in outer space as parents!” she tells People. “We are in uncharted territory.”

The mom of three says the problem is there’s no example to live by. When she was a kid, and as it was for most of us, “there was no social media, no distractions like they have now,” she recalls. “We had one phone, it was in the kitchen, and if we wanted privacy, then we would have to stretch the phone cord as far as it could go down the basement stairs.” Remember those days? Yup.

Kelly, 44, does have one tip, however, which she got from a “fellow mom.” As part of Children’s Motrin Unstoppable Moms campaign (Motrin donates $1 to Safe Kids Worldwide for every parenting tip shared on their Facebook page), Kelly shared an old-school ultimatum she’s used with success on her 13-year-old daughter, Lola.

“I said, ‘If you want to keep a diary instead of Instagram, then you will have privacy,'” Kelly explains. “‘I will not read your diary, but if you’re going to be on Instagram, I’m going to read that, because that’s not private. That is social media.’ That’s how we work it out in our house.”

Kelly Ripa kids instagram

“Want S’MORE????” Photo: Kelly Ripa via Instagram

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What do you think of Kelly’s diary ultimatum? Some argue it’s too much. “There’s a difference between what you share with the world and what you share with your mother,” writes Salon‘s Mary Elizabeth Williams, “and that means that sometimes Mom needs to get out of the way. And as they grow into young women, I feel acutely that my job in protecting my daughters online begins with me.” For her, this primarily involves setting a good example by talking to your kids before posting anything about them online, keeping some things private, not posting photographs and so forth. “In our house, conscientious parenting doesn’t mean watching my kids’ every move,” she concludes. “It means watching my own.”

Williams has a point, but it’s too easy to make a costly mistake on social media, and 13 is awfully young to get out there unsupervised. Besides, anything kids wouldn’t share with their mother probably shouldn’t be shared on social media.

What do you think?

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xo Haley-O
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