We started with a quick recap on communication…
- Ask questions and have a conversation.
- Advise and opinion can close the door to communication. Leave it for lat
in the conversation.
- When you feel you are losing control, it’s time to step out of it.
- A great way to step out of a heated discussion is to say “let’s agree to disagree”.
Privacy – Trust v. Control
- Understand they have the right to privacy.
- Respect their room as their space.
- Knock on the door before entering.
- Have they given you reason not to trust them? Do not assume that just because they are a teenager, they can’t be trusted.
- When giving them freedom and independence, be clear with your expectations and consequences.
- There is a balance with giving rope - enough for some freedom but not so much that they are in danger.
- As you build trust, recognize they are learning. Sometimes they’ll make mistakes and you’ll have to “bring in that rope” a little bit.
- Building trust is through experiences.
- Have realistic expectations. They don’t have to share everything with you. Their viewpoint is “I’m growing up and I don’t have to tell you everything.”
- Pay close attention to the little nuggets they drop.
- Sometimes they tell you something in code.
- A communication journal can be a good tool in talking about tough and/or embarassing topics or with children/parents who are less comfortable with verbal communication. Writing is sometimes easier for some kids.
- When you see a change in their behavior.
- Give a disclaimer - “I love you so much that I’m going to have to go through your room if something doesn’t feel right to me.”
- Trust your gut.
If you are not crazy about certain friends…
- Don’t cut off the friendship. Saying “I don’t want you to be friends with them” isn’t going to work. Often it makes them more enticing.
- Trust they’ll make good, independent choices.
- Invite these friends over to your house. Have them for dinner, engage them in coversation and get to know them.
- Go from 0 to 100 in a minute
- things can get big, bad and ugly quick
- easily manipulated (kids will say “but I’m the only one”)
- often comes from a place of guilt
- kids don’t know where you stand
- Honest conversations
- Clear boundaries and expectations
- Ensures kids know where they stand
- Don’t assume your kids no where you stand on the issues - drugs, drinking, sex, etc. if you haven’t had honest conversations with them about these topics. Speak your mind even if it makes your heart beat out of your chest.
- Most healthy and effective style of parenting
Types of Discipline
- Parenting from guilt
- Wants child to be best friend
- Wants child to be socially successful more than safe
- No boundaries
- Needs to know where child is every second
- “My way or the highway”
- “They’re going to do what they’re going to do”
- Logical consequences
- Clear expectations
- Follow through (the key is follow through)
- When a mistake is made, learns to problem solve with child
- Most healthy and effective style of discipline
“Their ultimate success depends on their abilities to use digital media to create, collaborate, and communicate well with others. Those who master these skills in using digital tools will benefit from the digital world’s awesome powers.” - Common Sense Media
- Help them establish good habits
- Make sure they don’t lose the capacity to engage with another person
- Homework before tech time
- Limit multi-tasking (they can master this to a certain degree but have difficulty going to a deeper level)
- Determine if your child has an addiction (becomes withdrawn, loses track of time, anxious if without technology).
- Seek balance
- Be the gatekeeper they need
- Teach the difference between info worth sharing and private information
- Role model good habits
- listen intently without looking at your phone (“when we are talking, let’s both turn these off”)
- no technology at the dinner table
- don’t go to bed with technology, hinders solid rest
Privacy in Technology
- Help them understand that technology is a privelege
- Be clear about expectations regarding technology
- Create a contract
- Pay for their phone so that you have authority over it
- Password notebook - “keep passwords to all tech - tell them if you want the technology, I get the password.”
- If you have a concern, you have the right to go through their phone - and you can be honest about this. “This is my expectation on technology. If ever I have a concern, I will go through your phone.”