Is your child billing you for tech support?

Your child may know more than you do about technology, but you know what’s best for your child. While it may feel awkward when your teen provides your tech support, it doesn’t mean you relinquish your parenting role. Research shows that the style of parenting you use really matters in these situations. It’s your role to balance your teen’s skills and abilities while keeping limits and controls in place to guide their behavior.

Be an eParent®! Evaluate how ready your child is for digital media and various technologies. Read parent feedback online to determine if you will allow your child to use or purchase a video game or app. Just because he may know more about using technology, doesn’t mean he is developmentally ready to use it.

While they may never admit it, teens deep down want parents to help guide them. So what do you do when you get the high-pressure sales pitch from your child to buy or use a questionable video game or app? Involve your teen in finding information, reviews, and costs. Ask your child to write down the pros and cons – from their perspective and yours, too. Have a calm conversation, listen for understanding, and thank them for their effort. Even though you, the parent, will make the final decision, explain it in a respectful way. What better way for youth to learn and practice valuable research and negotiation skills?

You may want to read “Social Media Apps Parents Should Know About” at Common Sense Media.

To learn more contact UW-Extension Family Living Programs or like Family Living on Facebook.

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