Even though there are negative associated with social networks, research has shown that many teens have positive effects associated with online networking. Teens that are introverted have an easier time developing relationships and getting involved with different social groups. It is easy for kids to start spending too much time online. Children develop self-esteem problems because they worry too much about their online profile. Parents should help their kids maintain a healthy yet productive relationship with technology. How can they do that?
Technology at a Young Age
Kids are not exposed to things at a young age like rated R movies, violent video games, and being home alone. Although, kids are handed cell phones, tablets, and computers so they can stay entertained. Kids do not necessary have to be exposed to these devises. Technology may lead to complex conversations that are not desirable to have until they get older.
Take Time to Listen
Parents need to listen more than they talk. The best way to spark a casual conversation so it does not lead to judgment is to ask open ended questions. Do you know what cyber bullying is? Have you heard people talk about internet security? These are questions that will keep the lines of communication open rather than starting an argument.
Share a Meal
Family meals are very healthy to get kids away from technology while keeping the lines of communication open. It is best to have approximately three or four meals a week together. These meals should not include any technology. The time spent at the dinner table may have a no cellphone policy to limit interruptions.
Do Not Play Dumb
Kids are more likely to know about technology than their parents, but that should not be an excuse when staying involved. It is not difficult to understand what a kid is doing online so parents need to make sure they stay involved. Parents that do not understand something should ask their kids to show they care.
Do Not Spy
Secretly monitoring activity may help to understand what a kid is doing online; however it is an invasion of privacy. Kids that are tech savvy will be able to figure out how to get around the surveillance easily.
Watch for Warning Signs
Kids may start pretending they are sick in order to stay home and play on the computer. Some kids will start spending more time online then they spend with friends. Social networking tweens may start struggling in school because they are distracted by technology. Make sure kids are using technology appropriately. The right amount of social networking is very beneficial, but if it is abused kids can develop social problems.
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