Parenting Teens and Technology (Part 2)

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

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.

Communication Tools

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.

Examples:

  • 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.

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

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