FACT #1: Teens will always use the newest technologies available to connect with each other.
FACT #2: Caring adults will always be concerned about the newest technologies.
Today, over 90% of U.S. teenagers are online (and that number’s not going down).
When it comes to social media, 50% of all teenagers log on at least once a day, with 22% logging on more than 10 times a day.
We, like our parents AND their parents before them, are worried about the effect that technology is having on the development of our kids.
We know that wishful thinking is not a parenting strategy, but what is?
How can you help your teen be responsible with their online time, when they’ve grown up constantly surrounded by and using the latest technology?
How can you help your teen become a responsible AND mature digital citizen?
The 5 Rules for Teaching Your Teen To Live With Technology Responsibly
Rule #1: Set Screen Time Limits
Decide IN ADVANCE how much time your kids get to spend online and stick to it. Set daily time limits by app, platform and category, OR for the day as a whole. CIRCLE will keep track of how long your kids spend on certain platforms, apps, or categories and then shuts it down. (Example: Max of 30-minutes of Minecraft and 30-minutes of Netflix) It tracks time limits across ALL devices, so no more arguing about screen time. Hooray!
Rule #2: Inspect What You Expect
Manually sifting through hundreds of your kid’s texts, snaps, messages and web visits is a daunting and thankless task. CIRCLE tracks where they spend their time online so you can stay informed. By the way: I suggest you be upfront with your kid that you’ll be snooping (after all you want them to be upfront with you right?) “Just so you know…because I am your parent and I care about you — I reserve the right to review your activity.”
Rule #3: Give Their Devices a “Bedtime”
If they go to bed at 10pm, so should their phone. Use CIRCLE to define a time when the devices will temporarily disconnect from the Internet, and a “wake-up” time, for when the devices will reconnect.
Rule #4: Give Freedom Within Limits
Give your kid freedom to explore WITH boundaries to protect. Don’t just “hope” that your kid won’t end up on the unsavory parts of the internet. Use CIRCLE to set individual filters for each kid, to match their age, interests, and what’s appropriate. These filters come defaulted with settings designed for that age group, but can be easily customized.
Rule #5: When Needed PAUSE The Internet
Dinner time? Homework time? Chore time? Using CIRCLE, you actually get a pause button for the internet. Pause one of your kids because it’s time for homework or because it’s family game night. No more threatening to take devices away. Just press that pause button.
Look, technology is a frustrating and beautiful vehicle to TEACH kids self-governance.
Technology is neither good nor evil.
It is neutral. Like wood, or steel, it’s a resource.
It’s a resource that can be used for good or bad. It’s up to the individual. The newest technologies will frequently change.
BUT you can leverage technology to TEACH your kid boundaries, self-governance, and how to appropriately utilize something without abusing it — THAT is a skill that will serve them their entire life.
Josh Shipp is the founder of OneCaringAdult.com and the bestselling author of The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans.
Access the full article HERE.