Parenting Teens and Technology (Part 2)
Section Two: Listen and Learn
Keep the lines of communication open
Talk with your child about technology in a positive way. Express your interest. Ask to see favorite websites. Learn where to look for website use history and review it with your child. Talk about how to discover something new.
- What does your child wants to learn?
- Do an Internet search together to find information about that subject.
- Ask for your child’s help in researching a family purchase, a car, a TV, a phone, planning a trip.
Ask your child if there something about the Internet makes him or her uncomfortable.
Make a technology use agreement with your teen. These work best with 10-12 year olds; start early!
Use the agreement to discuss issues and find out how your teen is handling them. You’ll find several agreements by checking these websites:
These agreements include important guidelines to protect your identity online.
Think about technology privileges you give your child BEFORE you give them. It’s hard to take something back once you’ve already given it.
- Agree where the new technology will be used and stored and consequences for abuse of the privilege.
- Cellphones go into chargers at a certain time each night.
- Chargers are in the parents’ bedroom.
- Laptop computers are used only in a public area where a parent can observe.
Use Social Networking as a new line of communication.
- Ask your child to help you set up your own Facebook page for your own social circle.
- Most teens believe their social networking space is a private conversation to be respected. You may ask your child for access, insist that your child give you access, or ask your child to friend you. However you gain access, respect the space.
- Look for more perspective on social networking here.
- For more perspective on teen privacy: http://bit.ly/Teen_Privacy
Make a ‘Friends Tell’ Agreement – This is an important discussion that can help your child decide how to help someone making risky decisions.
Written and edited by Elizabeth Schar for Adolescent Counseling Services