Monday, March 14, 2016

Ground Rules For Your Smart(phone) Teen

Your daughter just reached the milestone of becoming a teenager and she wants her very own smartphone, but you don’t think she’s quite ready to handle the responsibility yet. What do you do? If you’re like most parents, you give in and hope for the best. Maybe you lay down a few ground rules and check to see if she’s sticking to them—for a while—but then you ease off. Now, it’s several months later and you have no idea what your daughter is doing on that device. Not a clue. And she’s on it all day long. Again, what do you do? If you’re looking to learn how to read someone’s text messages and more, a cell phone spy app may be just the product you need.

It’s hard for parents to say no to their kids these days, especially when saying no means turning them into social outcasts. If you disallow your child to have a smartphone, her world goes on without her. It’s sad, but true. And not in the way that it went for you. Today’s children live in a digital realm that extends far beyond the schoolyard, neighborhood, and even town where they live. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter—they’ve all made your kid’s world a lot bigger than you could ever have imagined twenty years ago. And it’s a lot more immediate than then as well. Many modern parents look for cell phone spy equipment to learn how to spy on cell phone without installing software in this modern day and age.

While we all know it’s unhealthy for a teen to be on their device all day, the fact remains that many of them are. And they’re not the only ones. Take a look around you at all of the adults doing the same—maybe one of them is you as well! It’s pretty hard to tell your teen “no” or “put it down” when everyone else is doing it. So what can you do?

Many parents feel they must give their kid their own smartphone, because not only will the teen miss out, but they’ll build resentment toward their parents for not allowing them to take part in what all of their friends are doing. Yeah yeah, we know, they’ll live. But in today’s world of digital immediacy and socializing, it could harm your child more than you think.

So if you’re going to provide your teen with their own mobile device, it’s a good idea to first lay down guidelines for how and when they should use it; teach them to do so responsibly; and ideally, lead by example.

Here are some good rules to follow in order to make sure your teen is on the safe digital path:

·         No phone during meals. Sit and talk to the family.
·         Obey the school’s rules. Do not use the device during school hours.
·         Don’t purchase any apps without your permission.
·         The device stays in a public/neutral place in your home and no bringing it up after bedtime.
·         You, the parent, are allowed to take a look at what they’re doing from time to time. “Let me see who you’re texting.” “Who is sending you pics?” “What web sites are your searching?” That kind of stuff. If they know you’re going to check up on them, then they are less likely to do something inappropriate … or fall prey to someone who is trying to do it to them.

In the end, make sure they know that they can trust you. The old “I’m doing this for your own good” is still the truth for most parents. The more you talk to them about the dangers of the digital world and why you are doing what you do, the more they’ll appreciate you and adhere to the rules.

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