Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Parents Navigating the Teen Years

Mar 27, 2023

Michael Jacobus has been working with teens for over 35 years as a summer camp director. In 2018 he founded Reset Summer Camp to address the needs of kids who found themselves escaping into digital media and gaming in order to avoid the real-world. His program will expand into Canada this summer and has launched an App for teens and their families to help keep them on track, year-round.

Key Takeaways

  • What are signs to look out for when we feel our teen may be to-tuned-into digital media? Disengaging from family activities, if they’d rather eat in their room instead of showing up for meals, if their sleep pattern has them up late at night, if their grades are starting to drop.
  • Parents can take a healthy approach to digital media by not denying their teen the right to play a game when they are focused on having a healthy balance of life, family, sleep, studies, outdoor activity, and interests beyond digital media.
  • It used to be that when parents were young and played games as kids, the game would be over. Games don’t end now so there’s a bottomless spiral to turning them off.
  • Teens lose their interpersonal skills and face to face ability to interact when they become to involved with digital media.
  • Parents can opt to take all digital media out of their teen’s bedroom so when it’s time for bed, there are no distractions. Buy an alarm clock so they will not wake up by a digital device that will hook them as soon as they wake up.
  • Fear of missing out is real for teens. It can cause anxiety, emotional upset, and so much more, however when they find out later what they were worried about, it generally ends up being nothing.
  • Attention span in the average teen is down to about 8 seconds, before they are looking for the next stimulus. Limiting their time on digital media will greatly improve that statistic.
  • Parents can manage future digital over-dose in their teen by not letting them become a user until they can have a conversation and follow parental guidelines on what the boundaries are for use.
  • If your teen is interacting with people they don’t know, set up a zoom call for them to meet and be included in that meeting, along with a parent of theirs.
  • Parents need to lead by example. Are they modeling good behavior when using technology or do they model different behaviors. Everyone in the household needs to adhere to the same rules.
  • Parents can help their teens find balance away from digital media with practices such as mindfulness, yoga, meditation, physical activity: giving them time to be present in the moment.

Sponsored by Lessons in Leadership: