Teens & Technology

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

Parents, want to know how to use technology to connect with your kids? 

This week Maddox (17 years old) joins us to talk about screens and technology! While we didn’t parent him with lots of rules and boundaries, we did know him. By the time Maddox could talk, we were focused on being relational parents. We chose to learn and listen. We understand him and how he is wired. Now that he is almost an adult, he sets his own rules and boundaries. We trust him.

Rules such as screen time limit, bringing phone down at night, etc… have not been something we implement because we know Maddox is trustworthy and capable of making his own decisions.

Parents, can you say this about your 17 year old? Are you trying to find the balance of screens with your teens? What is your family’s culture?

Questions We Ask Maddox:  

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of having less boundaries?  
  • Sometimes when we “wrestle” with things we fail. What did you learn from the process of building your own screen boundaries?  
  • What does it mean to wrestle with boundaries? 
  • How much time do you think your generation is spending on technology?  
  • What do you say to the parents who have kids who don’t have good boundaries?
  • What do you think about the rules parents give their kids regarding technology?  

Parents, make sure you catch this! It was valuable to us, as parents, to allow our kids to make mistakes and learn from them. Especially when it drew them closer to Jesus. It is valuable to the kid to have safe parents to come to when they mess up, or need help with their boundaries.  

Be the kind of parent who your kids want to come to and ask for help and accountability. When your relationship looks like this, you are doing something right!  

Maddox remembers so many conversations about restrictions, boundaries, and ways we can help them win the battle with screens and the addictions that comes with it.  

“Freedom takes wrestling. I found freedom because I was given the freedom to wrestle.” – Maddox 

Things Parents Need to Know About Teens & Technology

  • Every app is different and whichever app your kid uses can tell you something about them 
    • Snapchat: often and easy (text, video, and photos) – teens think it is much easier than texts 
      • Main goal = connection 
    • Instagram: Information intake  
    • YouTube: Ability to learn and escape  
    • Tic Toc: Heavily addicting (1-minute videos) and hearing from a variety of voices 
      • Constantly entertained & addicting  
Parents, we want you to remember technology is a tool. It can be used well or misused. As parents, we get to help our kids learn which tools are useful and which are harmful for their development.  

Practicals 

  • Start with the heart (technology habits are the fruit of what is happening in their heart)  
  • Start a conversation about social media (ask open ended questions) 
  • Focus on their interests and not your understanding of technology 
  • Help them prune their social media (once there is openness)

If trust has been broken by the child, what can the parents do?  

  • Be the example with technology as a parent 
  • Be aware of your child’s age, it depends on what season they are in  
  • Focus on the relationship, build that up before going straight into the rules and restrictions
Parents, if you’ve got issues with your teen and technology, first look at your connection with them. Before grilling them about technology, try having fun and building the relationship.   

Wrap Up

Remember parents, if our kids want to hide, they can. There are so many things as parents we don’t know. We invite you to care more about your kid’s heart and help them align their motivations with God. The goal is the heart. We want to help our kids say, “I want healthy boundaries with technology.” This journey starts with helping them feel safe and live the life God gave them.  

Use technology to connect. It is an amazing tool to help you know and get to know your child. Go find out which app your child is using and why! Use technology as a way to connect with their heart.  

Remember, your kids are trying to figure themselves out. As parents, we help them by asking open, honest questions. It’s okay if they don’t know the answer. Remember, they are still figuring it out! The questions don’t go in one ear and out the other. They will listen and process it. Watch your tone of voice and facial expressions. Be a safe place for your child to process.  

Be the kind of parents who cares less about control and more about connection.  

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How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].

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