Overcoming Parent-Teen Inconsistency in Handling Smart Devices

Education Technology Insights | Friday, July 19, 2019

If parents are eager to deal with the parent-teen paradox while handling digital devices, then it helps children develop enhanced thinking skills. More importantly, everyone in the family will enjoy the social interaction.

FREMONT, CA: Today, society is highly dependent on smart devices, and dependency has formed a parent-teen inconsistency. Parents and children alike are obsessed with their digital tools more than ever and over a three-fourth of them check their devices every hour. So, how do parents tell their children to limit the exposure to screen when parents themselves can’t control their impulses?

The Problem

Teenagers feel obliged to reply immediately to every text, email, or message. Their obsessive behavior makes them vulnerable to addiction. The parent-teen contradiction of handling devices means restricting the engagement with the tools their children make use of for staying in constant touch.

The Intervention Plan

Monotony does not imply turning on the mobile device for amusement, so it is not possible to turn off technology altogether, but one can reduce its reliance.

• Limit the Time Spent on Smart Devices: It may sound complicated, but it is not entirely impossible to stay for a while without a tablet or a phone. As a family, decide on the time during the week to put away the tech tools. For instance, not using the phones or bringing them to the lunch or dinner table could be a good start.

• Engage in Alternative Activities: Most fun activities do not involve the use of technology. Families can find something entertaining that does not require a phone like; playing a board game, undertaking chores, or playing in the yard. Also, set expectations on time; inform everyone to commit to a tech-free time of 60 minutes. 

• Parents Should Put Away their Devices: Children look up to parents as their role models.  So, before instructing them to commit to full attention during a family pastime or a meal, parents should put their own devices down. The method teaches children that there are plenty of other things to do, even without using technology.

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