Parenting Teens and Technology (Part 6)

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

Learn Critical Thinking – Practice the process of making decisions.

Parents can help children learn to make good decisions on their own.  Technology offers an opportunity to practice.

Encourage Common Sense – Help your child learn common sense with simple rules that work in many situations.    These easy to remember phrases help a child make safe choices when faced with unexpected offers.

  • Don’t talk to strangers.
  • If it is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Keep your eyes on the road.
  • No such thing as a free lunch.
  • How would you feel if somebody did that to you?
  • Don’t lie.
  • Don’t gossip.
  • Two wrongs don’t make a right.
  • Remember who you are.
  • What would your grandmother think?
  • What if this showed up on a billboard?

Listen to your gut.  Help your child learn to trust their own judgment.

Conversation Starters:

  • How do you feel when you know you are doing the right thing?
  • How do you feel when you  know you are doing the wrong thing?
  • Do you remember doing something when your body felt like that?
  • How did that turn out?
  • Why do you suppose your body sends out signals like that?
  • How can you use those feelings to help you out in the future?

Just to be Perfectly Clear:

“Don’t talk to strangers. ”  MEANS :

Never give out your name, address  or phone number on line or in a text message on your phone.

Do NOT respond to emails, texts, phone calls or messages on a social networking pages from people you don’t know.  This is just like a stranger approaching you on the street.  Walk away.  Turn off the phone.  Delete the email. Get off the computer.  Tell an adult you can trust.

Written and edited by Elizabeth Schar for Adolescent Counseling Services