When kids go for their first trip to the store on their own, they need to be clear about the independence and at the same time; they need to be equipped with the guidelines, for instance not talking to the strangers, waiting for the light, asking for the store’s clerk’s facilitation etc. Same kind of parental guidelines should be there when the teenagers step out independently on the internet. Though there has been no one size fits all approach to guide the students about the technology usage, however there are ways to guide your teenagers to use the technology vigilantly. Underlined are the five tips in this regards:
Support the online and offline social lives of teenagers:
Social lives of teenagers overwhelm them and this is one of the ways that nature nudges them to go out and live independently. As teenagers begin to separate them from parents, friends and peers turn out to be more important. Hanging out with friends these days is to see them on social media. Apart from being the time wasters, social media is considered to be fulfilling an important necessity. When teenagers tag their friends, comment on their posts and photos, they actually extend the pleasure of the relations offline. Social media these days is really significant as limited mobility, greater distances between the friends, over scheduling, and fewer places meant for the teenagers have made meeting in person to be more difficult. Parents can guide teens as follows:
- Discuss skills of healthy relationships. Conversational skills, perspective taking and empathy learnt offline actually is seen online.
- Invite their friends to your place and also drive them to their friends to know their friends and their parents.
- Always be ready to talk and discuss about the social lives of the teenagers whether it is late at night or in the car.
Balance the intellectual development:
Starting from pencil to the satellite dish, everything is believed to shape up the minds of the teenagers. How does internet do so? Research says that use of internet makes people smarter and others say that it creates ability of multi-tasking in people. When it is about teenagers, their brains start to specialize where the unused neurons are used for better and efficient processing. Teens brains becomes more creative and competitive and whatever they do from eating in the couch to building up the robots, it establishes in their brains. So support their focus on the emerging trends. This actually includes the online interests.
Nurture self-awareness: Prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for decision making and self-regulation. It makes really hard for the teens brains to control their emotions. Teens can be taught emotional skills like how to take pause between bring triggered and then how to be responsive; to delay the decision in order to opt for the right path. This is really significant on social media where the impulsive acts enjoy wide reach within few clicks of a mouse. They should be aware of if hanging out on social media makes them feel happy and being connected or it makes them sad. Teenagers these days need to learn to manage their attention to be successful in their lives.
Prioritize the offline connections: Young people need to learn securing human relationships and hence guidance should be there since infancy and through the adulthood. It has been observed that teenagers as well as adults spend most of the time online which actually affects the relationships. Researchers suggest that in person relationships affect physiology different as compared to online relationships and add to our ability to connect with others. Kids of all ages always wish their parents to turn off the devices and get tuned to them. In the similar way teenagers prefer to have face to face interactions. Make use of it and ensure that your kids are in the right path.