Between homework assignments, researching, online video games, snapchat, texting, youtube, reading books, and easy access to inappropriate content, it seems our whole world is being overrun by technology. For many parents, it feels like technology is taking away childhood.
Parents of adolescents face an interesting challenge. It’s natural for young teenagers to want independence and privacy as they create identities separate from their parents, but the place they seem to want independence is online? How do we keep our kids safe in a world we can’t see or control?
Join me for a free webinar:
Trust Your Gut, Not Your SnapChat Feed.
This webinar will cover 5 things parents can do to help their child build a healthy relationship with technology. Click the button below to register for the free webinar held on Tuesday, April 11th. (A recording will be sent to those who cannot make it live).
Below is something I call The Ten Commandments of Texting. (Say it with a loud deep voice for dramatic effect.) Some of it might sound basic but kids don’t know if we don’t tell them. Right now, lessons are being learned by watching others make mistakes and get in trouble. The more we can teach ahead of time, the fewer consequences our kids will have to suffer. Print this and post on your refrigerator, or better yet, share on social media and encourage your kids to do the same.
The Ten Commandments of Texting
- The person in the room gets priority over the person on the phone. Apologize or ask permission before using your phone in front of them. A quick “excuse me one second” goes a long way.
- Never chat with strangers online. Don’t give out personal information to people you haven’t smelled.
- Never text when you are angry or hurt. Be nice to yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling then text “I’ll call you” or “FaceTime?” so you can resolve conflict in an appropriate way.
- If you see something online or on a group chat that feels weird, icky, or not right, screenshot it and share it with a trusted adult.
- Never send or post anything you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard in front of your school.
- Beware of using sarcastic humor, it can sound mean instead of funny. Use extra thank you’s, please’s, and emoticons to soften blunt words.
- If your media time leaves you feeling yucky, bad or grumpy; unfriend, unfollow or just turn off your phone. Seek happiness and positivity.
- Group texts are annoying! Use them only when necessary and don’t add people without permission.
- If you message someone three times without a response, stop messaging them. Call, talk in person, or give up.
- Devices need a bedtime and days off. Unplug, set boundaries, or take a break. We all need a digital detox once in a while.