Digital Parenting New Year’s Resolutions

Hi parents. Happy New Year. It’s 2015.

Of course, we’re all about digital parenting and helping teens make good online decisions. Since this is the first day of the new year, we thought we’d suggest a few things that parents can urge their teens to do in 2015 that will help make the online world, and your teen’s life, a better place. If you can get your teen to do a couple of these, the benefits could be huge.

2015Digital parenting New Year’s Resolutions (for teens):

One positive post per day – Many teens are dedicated to using their social media accounts to build their personal brand. Unfortunately, a lot of this brand building can involve snarky posts, subtweeting or other posts designed to garner laughs at someone else’s expense. Other strategies involve posting endless selfies, or an aggrandized image of how fabulous life is at the moment. Encourage your teens to make one unabashedly positive post per day, with no ulterior motive other than making someone else feel good.

Share something good with the family once a week – Parents are notoriously out of the loop when it comes to what their teens are doing online. Ask your teen to share one thing per week with the family that they found online, and they think is positive, humorous or enlightening.

No phones at the dinner table – Many families are already doing this, but not all. This is a fairly easy step to take that can make family interaction a lot better.

Delete Yik Yak – This troublesome anonymous app claims to be blocked at high schools. That “block” is so ineffective that it’s laughable. Yik Yak claims to be a vehicle for harmless self-expression, or something like that. It isn’t used that way. Teens can send a message and do the right thing by simply deleting the app, and sidestepping all the trash talking and bad behavior.

Be an upstander – Sure, cyberbullying is bad, and even if your teen is not engaging in it, is she doing anything to stop it? Ask her to step in from time to time when she sees cyberbullying and defend the victim, or ask the bully to stop. Good deeds go a long way.

Read a book – One that is made of paper. It’s good and good for you. It might seem like the whole world, and all the interesting content, are online these days. That’s far from the truth.

Here’s to a healthy and generous digital 2015.


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