Parenting teens and tweens in the digital age isn’t easy, but you’re not alone in facing the challenge. And there are thoughtful people offering wise thoughts and good advice in recent pieces posted online. Here are a few of my favorite that I wanted to share with you.
How Tech Experts Monitor Their Teens on Social Media by Sue Shellenbarger on The Wall Street Journal
“The powerful allure social media holds for teens has led Michelle Dennedy to take a hands-on approach to monitoring its use by her two daughters, 11 and 16. ‘Once you hand that phone to your child, that is the beginning of a million micro-decisions for you as a parent, and for the child,’ says Ms. Dennedy, chief privacy officer at Cisco Systems Inc., the San Jose, Calif., networking company.
She checks privacy settings every six months on all the apps she and her daughters use on their smartphones. If social media distracts them from homework, ‘the Wi-Fi goes off and the books come out,” Ms. Dennedy says.'”
What teens with their parents knew about social media by Ana Homayoun on The Washington Post
“One of my students recently told me how a group of nine of her friends from school were using family tracking apps to monitor one another. When she and a few of her friends wanted to hang out or were all in the same place, there would be a continual stream of social pressure, guilt and shame from others who weren’t invited (“Why are you hanging out without us? Guess you think you’re too cool for us?”). Her parents had no idea that some of their teen daughter’s friends were essentially stalking her. Many apps have geolocation features, and parents don’t realize the new level of potential pressure (and danger) these on-all-the-time experiences can bring. Ultimately, my student removed herself from the tracking group when she decided the stress she was experiencing wasn’t worth it. A tip? Ask your kids which apps they spend the most time on (or check their phone’s data usage). Download those apps and spend time learning the ins and outs.”
Teen uses his love of baseball to create a positive digital footprint on UseTech4Good.com
“Social media as a whole often gets a bad rap. People think there aren’t a lot of positives to it and that it really is detrimental to the development of teenagers. But for me, social media has been instrumental in my success. If you understand how to use social media in a positive way, you can really extract the value that it has. It allows you to communicate with the world and it allows you to build relationships with people who have similar interests as you. It allows me to talk about something I love and am passionate about.”
Raising kids to be good digital citizens: The only 4 things you need to tell them. by CoolMomTech.com
“Adults are here to help.
We place a lot of value on independence in this culture, and of course we want our kids to grow to make great decisions when we’re not around. But that happens in stages. It’s also why I like services like Netsanity, which essentially helps to give kids training wheels for the internet, until they have developed better judgment and critical thinking skills about what apps to use, and how to best use them.
But even while we’re being smart as we can be when it comes to limiting inappropriate content or avoiding risky situations, I think it’s really, really important to let kids know that we are always here to help.
Whether they have a question about an app, whether they want to show us something they saw that makes them uncomfortable, whether they notice friends behaving in a way online that makes their needles jump — they can talk to us about it. And they should.”
If you have any favorite posts on the topic that you’ve found helpful lately, please share them below!
Prior Post: Life lessons learned from the laundry pile
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