We live in a digital world that seems to be moving at light speed. Nothing seems to stop the never-ending flow of data and content, which can make it increasingly difficult to stay up to speed on the latest trends, much less keep pace with what your teen is using. So where do you start? Here are a 4 tips for navigating the digital world as a parent.
- Act the way you expect your teen to act.
You hear it all the time, maybe you heard it growing up, or maybe you’ve even said it in your own household. We get it, there are countless times with your kids and teens where they should be held to a different standard. When it comes to technology, though, you should think twice. Your teen is watching and absorbing everything you do. So it’s important you take every chance to exhibit habits that model positive behavior when it comes to how much and the types of content, along with when and how often you take in content.
- Have a Family Media Use Plan
The American Academy of Pediatrics has screen time guidelines for children at various ages, from infants to children up to five. With older children and teens, the organization recommends customizing parameters on screen time that fit your child. A good rule of thumb is that screen time should be limited to no more than two hours a day. But you can put together your own family media use plan with help from the AAP website.
- Establish No Phone Zones
No phone zones are also a good habit to establish: times or areas in life where phones are not allowed or are discouraged. Try no phones during dinner, no screen time at least an hour before bed, and certainly no phone use behind the wheel. Here are some other tips for reducing distractions behind the wheel.
- Monitor the example set by friends
Setting a good example for your teen is good practice while they’re at home, but your teen spends the majority of their time with friends. So it’s important to monitor the company your kid is keeping and make sure his or her friends are modeling good habits and behavior.