Conflicts are normal and occur in every household. Though a silver bullet to avoid every single conflict does not exist, three principles can help encourage goodwill in any family as far as technology use is concerned.
1. Communication and open dialogue
Have regular discussions with your teen and share each other’s concerns. Being open and avoiding judgment is crucial.
2. Critical thinking about technology
Explain to your teen that apps and games are designed to keep players online as long as possible, because connection time is directly related to the developers’ revenue. Also raise your teen’s awareness about the negative impact a lot of content has on our thoughts, our behaviour and our self-esteem. For instance, many images posted online are touched up using special software or filters, which can contribute to creating unrealistic expectations about our own body.
3. Clear, fair and consistent rules
Set and maintain coherent rules together, as a family, for everyone involved. Rules related to technology use for your teens should not vary from one day to the next, nor should they be unfair when compared to what other family members are allowed to do, parents included (!). Being consistent when applying these rules is a challenge for every family, namely for those dealing with joint custody, but it is very important.