Setting Digital Boundaries with your Tween
Modern children don’t have the luxury of learning social etiquette on the old discarded relics we called cell phones. It is important to let them enjoy their childhoods, similar to the times when Saturday cartoons reigned our weekends. Our children are navigating a world that can be influenced with a tap of a finger and cell phone monitoring can be the key to maintaining their innocence for a little longer by setting digital boundaries.
- Be honest and upfront with your children about your cell phone monitoring. Numerous parents notice that when a child is aware of possible cell phone monitoring, the child will be extra careful while participating in online activity. There are countless apps and products that allow parents easy cell phone monitoring.
- Declare “no phone” zones. Create a drop zone where family members can store their phones during family dinners or overnight. This will allow children a chance to step away from the constant barrage of technology.
- Review safety protocol and encourage them to post only what they want others to see. It’s hard for children to see the impact of their words, but it’s important teens are aware of possible outcomes from their posting. Drive home that rude and juvenile posts can haunt them later when they apply for scholarships, colleges, and jobs.
- Set meaningful consequences for violations of cell phone rules. Parents need to inform teens about the consequences of failing to maintain the family’s rules. If a parent notices troubling posts or texts while cell phone monitoring, make sure to follow through with consistent and appropriate repercussions.
- Help them set their privacy settings and set personal limits to what kids can share online. Encourage teens to hide phone numbers, class schedules, or personal information online. The Internet can be a breeding ground for trolls, hackers, and criminals lurking for personal data.
- Have meaningful conversations about sexting. Sexting is an issue that many teens face in today’s world. Inform them about sexting’s real consequences and that you will be monitoring their cell phone activity.
- Forbid cell phones while driving in a car- talking or texting!
- Use a cell phone plan that restricts internet access– you can limit daily data usage or just use a plain “dumb” phone. Allow your teen to focus on other activities and take a break from the online world of social media.
- Set a good example. Children are watching and learning from how parents behave. Follow the same rules set out for the teens and be conscious of your own usage.
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SEPTEMBER 26, 2014 BY TEENSAFE