9 Tips for Teens & Devices
When it comes to the internet, it hasn’t been easy to find the right balance of freedom and responsibilities in our house. We have always wanted to be the ones to teach our children about what the outside world has in store before someone / something else does, and managing the online was no different. Over a few years of trial & error, some great parenting blogs and advice from friends with teens, we have tried to follow these guidelines - not as rules but as a way of life…and of course, used home filters and kept hold of the wifi password ;-)
Mobile phones & devices are a privilege, not a right. They are primarily there so we as parents can stay in contact for safety & so you can be connected to your friends & family. They are for fun, creativity, organisation and are a brilliant addition to life but not an essential one.
All phones & devices, although bought for your use, still belong to us & we kindly allow you to borrow them.
Phones & devices can be fun & useful but should never replace human interaction. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you and remember not all you read or see is the truth #fakenews. Oh, and don’t bring a device to the dinner table (unless you have the most up to date playlist).
We will always know the passwords, & ALL devices are spot checked regularly for appropriate content, conversation (including browsers, internet history, youtube, messages, emails & social media). This step is not because we don’t trust, but because the role of a parent is to coach & train in good behaviour/choices and because our motives are from love.
Devices are not private. Journals are private and on request we will happily buy you a paper journal – you can even pick the colour. Please don’t write/watch/send/say anything you wouldn’t in person, because once you hit send you have no idea how far it will travel, or the impact it has on the person it’s sent too.
Be kind – if you wouldn’t say it to your sister/mum/granny please don’t say it OR ask it on text, snapchat, PM, DM or other. Believe it or not there are some words & questions that even emojis cannot fix.
We will, at our discretion, take your devices overnight. (Don’t worry, we will replace them with an old school alarm clock, in case you are worried about getting up for school in time).
8) If it rings, answer it. If you get a text, reply to it. Say hello & use your manners. Do not ever red button a phone call from Mum or Dad, like ever!
You will mess up!
We may take away your phone. You will get it back. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. We are always learning. We are on your team. We are in this together.
by Clare Hooper. x