Lets face it; we have transitioned comfortably into the digital age with scientists and philosophers fighting to create the name for the new technological era that is fast advancing. But with the comforts of technology, there seems to be an underlying discomfort, especially if you are a parent of a teenager.
Our teenagers have grown up without knowing what life is like without information at our fingertips or being able to connect to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This kind of technology is a very new thing, but to them, this is how it has always been. No social interaction, the half-hearted skill of texting while maintaining eye contact, or the always-changing online lingo can feel annoying, distracting, consuming and detaching.
I know that as a parent it can be very difficult, and sometimes scary, to promote and limit (at the same time) the use of these technologies. Here are some helpful tips I have found to get your teen back!
Show by Example: When you get home from work and you connect with your technology more than your teen, they will end up doing the same.
Create Sanctuaries: Bring back sacred spaces and situations. Create physical boundaries with the usage of your electronics at home. Relationships are vital and when we minimize the importance of them by bringing in handheld distractions, it devalues one another.
Don’t be Afraid to Take Away: Teenagers are notorious for overreacting when punished. Don’t let your child’s reactions dissuade your punishment.
Research and Know: There are new apps, videos, music, and websites popping up everyday. Be aware of what your teen is into by researching and staying in the loop. Ask your teen questions like, “What does this song mean to you?”, “How does this app support what you value in life?”, or “Why do you approve of this website?”. Allow for deeper ideas and conversations by asking open-ended, follow-up questions.