With teens and technology, there is an interesting conversation here, because so many people think that teens are tech savvy. But really, to be tech savvy would mean that you had the ability to invent or create the device. But really what teens are is tech dependent, meaning so much of their interaction, their day, how they communicate, entertainment, how they plan their day, all of this is done through technology.
And the key here for a parent of a teen or any kid who has a device is you have to have a strategy and a game plan behind what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for that particular device.
So let’s say you gave your kid or your kid earned money and purchased their own or was gifted a car. Think about that. Would you allow your kid to drive that car, however they earned it or got it, without insurance? Would you? Of course not. That would be insanity.
And is it because your kid’s a bad kid? No. Is it because your kid’s a bad driver? Maybe, I don’t know. But not necessarily for that reason. The reason is because it’s not safe and it’s not responsible. Maybe your kid could make a bad decision driving. Maybe someone else could make a bad decision driving. Regardless there is an area of vulnerability there.
Listen to me. The same is true with your teen and technology. Meaning, as a parent, you need to understand having a phone is not a right as an American citizen. It is a privilege. And it’s important to teach your kid that with any privilege comes responsibility.
So again, it all comes back to this – and I have a particular sort of contract that you can use, and we’ll make sure to make this available to everyone who’s watching the video. But what you need to do is say, I’m delighted and happy that you have this phone, or this laptop, or this device, or whatever. Here is exactly what is acceptable. Here is exactly what is not. Not trying to be mean or whatever. I’m doing this as I would with insurance because I love you, I care about you and I don’t want to see you get hurt.
So again, clearly spelling out here’s what acceptable use. Here’s what’s not acceptable use. If you use it inappropriately, if you’re not responsible with it, it’s going to be taken away for a certain period of time.
As a parent it’s really important to embrace this, particularly technology, social media, not as something that’s frustrating and overwhelming, but as a wonderful vehicle to teach your kid responsibility.