Are you worried about your teen’s use of technology? Are you concerned that they might be addicted to Facebook, their cellphones or the Internet?
Many parents do not know how to deal with teenagers technology addictions, that’s why it’s really important that you focus on parenting technology and setting up boundaries. There is no set rules that govern how much time your teen should spend with technology, but there are a few important things to keep in mind when questioning whether they are addicted to technology:
- Does your teen’s technology use get in the way of real life interactions?
- Does your teen get angry and frustrated when you ask them to stop using their phone?
- Are their studies being affected by their technology addictions?
- Is your teen’s technology use interfering with their sleep?
- Do you find that your teenager can’t even be without their phone at the dinner table?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then your teen probably has a technology addiction. Parenting technology addicted teenagers can be challenging, especially if your teen is used to having free range on their technology but there a number of things you can do to help keep your teenager’s technology use in check.
Limit the Time They Are Allowed
Many parents find setting up time limits really effective. You can set limits for almost every piece of technology your teen uses – from computers, to Play Stations and cell phones. You can make the time limit conditional, for example once your teen has completed their homework and/or they are allowed 2 hours on the Internet. This ensures that your teen is doing what they need to before getting stuck into their online world.
No Technology After X pm
Set a time in your home where your teen isn’t allowed technology – this can include cell phone use. Many teens will stay up until the early hours of the morning texting and calling their friends, which gets in the way of them having a good night’s sleep. If this is a problem in your home you might need to limit what time they can use technology until. Parenting technology restrictions can be hard because they’re often met with opposition, but few things are more important than sleep for a growing teenager.
Technology Free Zones
Make certain areas of the home technology free zones. Many teens think it is perfectly acceptable to sit on their cellphones at the dinner table, ignoring their family instead of engaging in conversation with them. You can make certain areas of the home technology free zones – such as refusing to put a TV in your teen’s room, no cell phones at the dinner table and no laptops in bed – whatever works for your family. Find a balance between encouraging your teen to make the most of technology and ensuring that it doesn’t rule their lives.
Don’t forget to lead by example: your teen will mimic you technology habits, so try to be as present and focused when you are around your teen. If you phone beeps, ignore it and finish your conversation with your teen first. Small, subtle signs will show your teen that human contact should always take priority over technology.
What have you found helpful in teaching your teen healthy technology habits? What’s your way to parent tech addict teen?
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