1.) Have a discussion with your child about their technology use Medical studies have shown that the part of the brain that regulates impulse control is not fully developed in teenagers. An adolescent brain has been compared to a car without brakes, not able to stop and evaluate whether that text or post is really a good idea or if it is true. It may be wise to limit how teenagers use cell phones, social media, and other forms of electronic communication until they are more mature.
2.) Don’t be afraid to get nosy!
Ask to be “friends” with your child on Facebook and give them a follow on other social media sites. Be aware of what they post, who their friends are and what their friends are posting. It’s a good idea to periodically look through to make sure what they’re posting is appropriate and safe!
3.) Make sure that strong privacy settings are in place
It’s important that your child only grants access to people they know and trust on their social networks.
4.) Consider establishing a time limit
Technology is great for learning and all, but too much social media or internet could be bad for your child. Too much link to media could be linked to poorer quality of sleep, lower self-esteem, and higher levels of depression and anxiety. Instead, encourage them to get out, get active and read a book instead!
5.) Most importantly, talk to your child
Help your child understand why it’s important to know the content they read and share on the internet. Teach them how to access factual information in a world of “fake news”, discuss the proper ways to react to cyber bullying, and why privacy settings are so important on the internet!