Witnessing the growth and progression of teen love in the age of tech is overwhelming in some periods and enough to make your heart burst with pride during others. The hormones are all over the place while their limbic system develops and it’s all we can do to just will their frontal lobes to connect a little faster. AND THEN their first forays into romance begin. So what can we even do to help them (and us!) navigate this a little better?
3 ways to monitor teen love in the age of tech
Here’s our Top 3 ways you can influence them to a healthier approach to technology in their relationships:
1. Establish Tech Curfews: Curfews for kids being home at night are already commonly done. But what about when they need to be in their bed without tech distractions? Sit down with your child and talk to them about how much sleep they feel they need and establish a time for the world to be out of their bedroom.
2. Online Dating: This may seem obviously dangerous, but not everybody online is looking to be a predator. However, this is an excellent way for shy or outcasted teens to find like-minded people who share their interests. BUT! This avenue requires discussing privacy and safety and the permanence of the internet, and a serious discussion about what will realistically happen if they are going to meet in person. As in, they should expect you to be the chaperone.
3. Decide On Tech Share Rules: Private pictures of teens are frequently being passed around the school or used to elicit shame and control. Make a plan with your teen about responses they can give when nude pics or other inappropriate things are requested and help them establish rules for themselves that will spare their reputation and help them make good decision.
Our children are so immersed in tech that it is impossible for them to not have online interactions with other people. If we can prepare them mentally and emotionally, and help them decide their own morals around it, they’ll be better off immediately and for the rest of their lives. It will take a few talks and a lot of work, but it will be worth every minute we devote to it.Tee