Technology is increasingly becoming a part of our lives. Many schools have gone to where they will only accept writing assignments on computers. Almost all teenagers have cellular devices, and many access different applications online. With such overwhelming technology, how can parents let teenagers be teenagers, and how can they keep them safe?
1. Set reasonable rules for cellular use. Encourage your teenager to tell you about issues they’re having online. Make sure to educate your teenager on laws about inappropriate selfies in your area.
2. Follow the same rules yourself; this will help your teenager want to follow them more.
3. Most often, no cell phones before school and no cell phones during meals are the most important rules to follow. Read more here.
4. Educate yourself about Facebook, Snapchat, and popular teen applications to understand the risks and rewards of these applications.
Many teenagers need a laptop for school. Set basic ground rules and be consistent, but willing to reevaluate those rules.
Social media is extremely popular. Websites like Snapchat, Discord, Facebook, Twitter and other websites have allowed teenagers to reach out and communicate. This allows teens to make friends easily. There are many places where connect with great people online. Unfortunately, these websites also carry risks. Simple tips for safety online:
1. Discourage your children from showing pictures online that show their face, especially if they’re linked to other websites that have their name. Reverse image search can link an uploaded selfie from a chat application to Facebook if the picture is unique enough, so be careful.
2. Educate your children about the risk of sending selfies to strangers.
3. Keep an open communication about where your child is spending time online. If possible, try and spend time on each site yourself, so you know what site the children are working on.
Television and Netflix
Television is popular, and websites and apps like Netflix are becoming even more popular. Setting acceptable guidelines early is key. While a lot of television makes for great entertainment, constant use has shown to impact teen grades.
Don’t be afraid to set healthy limits for how much use your children can have on the television set.
Once teenagers hit 16, most want to immediately get behind the wheel. Once they get their drivers license and can drive unsupervised, parents face new challenges keeping their kids safe. There are some simple, basic ways to keep your kid safe.
1. Invest in a GPS system that can track your teenagers’ location. If your teenager gets lost, this will allow you to see where your teenager is instantly and help navigate them home, which is extremely helpful. There are many great research websites to help you find the best GPS system for your car, so take some time and do research. Some GPS systems come with a monthly plan that is very cheap.
2. Have your teenager use a hands-free navigation system while driving. Apps like Waze and Google Maps can help your teenager stay safe on the road.
3. Set a strict and firm no texting while driving law, and follow it yourself. Statistics show that texting and driving is dangerous and deadly. 1.6 million accidents each year are caused by cell phone users out of a total of 2.5 million accidents. See the source here.
There are many ways to keep technology use safe and healthy for teenagers. With a little research, time and effort, it’s easy to keep open communication about what’s going on in your teen’s online world.