A couple of months ago we hosted a meeting with parents and discussed the issue of parenting teens and technology. Below you will find the presentation with some helpful resources.
Parenting is like a roller coaster. It looks big. You are a little scared but excited to try it out. Then you go on it and you are excited to do it again. Sometimes with all the twists, turns and drops, it feels like life is turned upside down. You don’t want to do it again or anymore but through all the success and failures you keep going.
That pretty much describes how I feel about parenting. I love it and it’s a joy but it also is very difficult, frustrating, and at times overwhelming to the point of wanting to give up!
Then bring in the issue that we live in a digital world. Are kids are growing up as digital natives, where they live a lot of their lives on a digital device. They are using these devices for just about everything.
Because of this it is important to have a plan in place for how to relate to these digital natives.
A couple of months ago we had a seminar where we started a discussion on these issues and I will include the outcomes and resources we compiled below.
Slide 4 What are we talking about?
When we are talking about technology what are we talking about?
Tablets, phones, tv and the content and interactions associated with these devices.
Slide 5 Why talk about it?
I want to be informed and I want to know safeguards I can put in place to protect my kids not only from themselves and their decision but also other dangers lurking in the digital world.
Slide 4 How are we going to do this?
Equipping, Tips, & Tools
Slide 7 Information
- What are the main benefits?
Social engagement. Learning, connectivity, communication.
- What are the main dangers?
Social engagement, learning, connectivity, communication.
- Where are they getting ideas to search for things?
Other people, ads, games,
I remember having to get on the phone to talk to my friends. The one attached to the wall! Or losing touch over the summer with school friends. Being connected would have been nice. The reality is that we were able to leave all our problems at the door of school, literally. But now they follow them home and the hallway that’s filled with bullies, and stress is in their pocket. There are benefits to technology and drawbacks.
Slide 8 Discussion
Let’s talk about what technology means to us. I think we need to understand our relationship with tech before we can address our kids relationship with it.
- 3 words hat describe your own relationship to tech?
Constant, distraction, crutch.
- What is a problem you have noticed with tech in your family?
Moods, lack of focus, addiction.
Slide 9 Discussion
- How far are you willing to go to take back control?
- What has been successful for you?
- What limits/boundaries can you put in place? Have you?
Slide 10 What are they using Tech for?
- Social media
- Video games
- Streaming videos
- School …lol
Some of our kids are not doing bad things on their tech. Some have mad mistakes. But what boundaries have we set for them. Some encounter content they did not even know existed and it may sound silly but they didn’t know it was wrong until the shame came. They are not going to know the boundaries and limits until we set them or teach them.
Texting and FaceTime are great ways to communicate with friends and can be harmless until they become inappropriate with hurtful comments or racy photos.
Video games such as Fortnite or Roblox can be a lot of fun and your kids may not be looking for trouble but it could find them if they are friends with people they don’t know.
Some ”harmless” videos insert content via ads, comments, or links.
SLIDE 11TikTok, snapchat, Instagram, youtube, whatsapp, kik, askfm, vsco
Slide 12 Next Steps
1.Set boundaries/limits. Use a contract or tech plan.
2.Talk about technology. Find out what they are using.
3.Subscribe to s monitoring/filter service. It may cost but it’s worth it.
4.Talk to others in this community. Ask for help. Share your victories.
Slide 10 Helpful tools
- This community/website/email
I want to create a community of parents who help each other! If we are honest we all feel like we fail a lot. We need encouragement and suggestions of what has worked in your family.
Bark is a platform that we started using and it allows you to monitor, block, and filter most things on your children’s devices. Tablet, phone, xbox.
Screen Time is Apple’s built in feature that allows you to monitor how long certain apps have been used.
Google is a huge help. We may not agree with the companies political agenda but we can type in anything in the search engine and get info fast.
- Teen Cell phone contract
- Family Technology Blueprint
- Helpful websites.