Parenting Teens and Technology (Part 1)

Teens with phones

Photographs are of models and are used for illustrative purposes. ©

Get Up to Speed!

Learn everything you can – You can be a credible source of information and advice for your child when you know enough to be a credible source.

  • Talk with other parents about their experiences with children and technology use.

Explore the web:

The California Department of Education provides a list of websites useful in teaching and learning about technology through the California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP). Many are available in Spanish.

Take a class:

  • Stanford Professor BJ Fogg offers an online class on Facebook for Parents.
  • US Department of Education – Tutorial for parents on computer use

Seek help:

Finally, Find people in your life who know more than you do and ask them to coach you.

Conversation Starters:

“Give me a tour of your cell phone. Any cool features or tricks you can do with your cell phone?”

“Show me how you take a photo with the phone. How do you send it to another email or phone?”

“Where do you save the photos? Show me what you’ve got saved.” (You might want to give them 24 hours warning on this one in case there is some embarrassing or silly stuff in there.)

“Has anyone ever sent or shown you a sexy photo of themselves or someone else?”

“Has anyone ever asked for your photo? If yes, how did you handle it? If no, what would you do and why?”

Sexting:  from Marian Merrit (Merritt 2009) who blogs on the Norton Symantec Family Resources website:

Written and edited by Elizabeth Schar for Adolescent Counseling Services