A Parent’s Guide to Handling Digital Behavior Issues

Digital technology has changed everything in our world, from how we communicate with friends to how we do our jobs. Nobody has embraced digital technology more than young people. Ask any teenager, and they’ll happily tell you how much they love their smart phone.

But technology has also created new problems for parents of tweens and teens. With new tech comes new behavior issues that parents must deal with.

First, parents must set clear guidelines for their teens when it comes to the internet. Let your child know what websites they’re allowed to go on and what they’re not allowed to do. Warn them about the dangers of giving up personal information or meeting up with strangers.

Set up rules for when your teens are allowed to use technology, too. While it’s normal for kids to be on their smart phones a lot, it can become a problem if they refuse to get offline. Not only can this be a sign that they’re doing something they shouldn’t, but it can also interfere with other activities.

Keeping communication open between you and your child will also help. Talking with your child about what websites are appropriate and how to avoid dangerous situations online can help prevent many issues before they start. Follow them on social media—not only will this help you monitor what they’re up to, but it can also allow you to share in your child’s life.

It’s also crucial, in today’s world, to talk to teens about sexting. Many teenagers post or share inappropriate photos without realizing the consequences this could have.

Unfortunately, when it comes to these kinds of digital behavior issues, teens aren’t likely to tell you everything they’re doing or sharing online. Some parents choose to monitor what their child does on the internet. There are many options for software that parents can use to track activity on their teen’s smartphones, tablets, or computers.

Finally, parents need to look out for cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is often an extension of issues that have begun at school and continued online. It can also begin online and carry over into the real world. If your teenager seems upset by something happening online, they might be experiencing cyberbullying.

Talking to your adolescents and teens about appropriate online behavior is your best weapon against digital behavior issues. Where talking doesn’t work, using technology to keep an eye on your kids is sometimes the best choice.

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