Parenting Teens and Technology (Part 3)

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

Section Three:  Pay Attention

Monitor usage.

Figure out how much time your child is using technology, where and when.

  • Know where your child has access to technology – at school, after school, at a library, visiting a friend, which friends, at a coffee shop, through his or her phone, a friend’s phone, through another adult’s computer, phone.
  • Establish limits for technology use (including your own) and follow/enforce the limits.  Use an allowance or budget approach to cellphone minutes, texting, video game time, iTunes spending, TV watching.
  • Set  “at home” rules for technology – Where are cellphones charged? Where can the computer be used?  When is TV/video game time?
  • You are not alone in managing this issue.  Families all over are discovering changes in behavior caused by technology connections.

Conversation Starters:

  • (Looking at the cellphone bill) Who can guess how much time our family uses our cellphones each month?  Who uses the most? Who uses the least? (Prizes for the best guess)
  • How much time to you think you spend on your computer each day?
  • Here’s a conversation with two students, ages 11 sand 14 about their use of technology in a typical day – compare your answers:  Click here.

  • We are going on vacation this summer to (fill in the spot). Show me how you would/could get information/directions to this place.
  • Let’s imagine that our Internet connection isn’t working.   Tell me how else you could get online today.

How to manage your teen’s video game time?  Look  here for ideas from another parent.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you can be notified when Part 4 of 8 becomes available.

Written and edited by Elizabeth Schar for Adolescent Counseling Services.


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