In this episode of Digital Parenting Live, we answer a viewer’s question on how to undo past parenting mistakes with technology.
Hey guys and welcome to Digital Parenting Live for Friday, June 1st where we answer the questions that you guys have. Now, we are very excited ’cause this is kind of our first time to shoot in this new space. We’ve got a lot of work left to do, but this is kind of the beginning of what the next phase of digital parenting is gonna look like, so we’re absolutely excited and we’re excited that you’re joining us this morning. But, like always, we wanna be able to get to the questions that you guys send in. And remember, if you have a question, you can send in your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work to get to as many of these as we can. Some of these are gonna come from people that send in questions. Some of them are gonna come from our live events. Some of them are gonna come from conversations that I’m having with parents. Let’s dive in and take a look at the question for this week.
The question this week is I’m beginning to realize how critical this is for my 14 year old, but where do I even start. I feel like I’ve made so many bad decisions with technology. How do I undo them? This is another really common questions. Let’s talk first and you’ve probably heard me talk this way, but there’s really two different categories of parents and families that we’re dealing with. One is the ones that we’re calling that are proactive. These are people that are jumping in before there’s an issue and they’re trying to be sure they’ve got the right foundation set in place. And the other, again, are parents that are reactive, where just the reality of the situation is problems already exist, and they’re trying to go in and actually fix those. For those parents, there’s a bigger challenge that they have to face. And that’s what we’re talking about here.
The great thing is though, I honestly believe that every family listening to this has the ability to make their family better in this area in a week and make it even better than that in two weeks. There’s incremental progress. There’s steps that you can make. One of the first things that I would recommend for any family that’s in this position is first of all, if your problems are not serious, if they’re not potentially issues where you need to go seek professional help, in these situations putting in an initial plan for how your family uses technology so that it stops happening by default, and you actually get to make a decision on how technology is used, that’s gonna be one of the best steps you can take. We’ll provide a link in the show notes for how you can go about that.
I think that’s the first step. And a part of that is beginning to set limits. One of the things I’ve seen with all of the families I’ve talked to that have actually gone through our process, if you’re able to get limits in place. If the issues you’re seeing are issues related to the amount of time spent disconnecting from family, if the issues are almost borderline addiction where some technology is actually causing them to not be able to do something in their life they need to be able to do, one of the best things you can do is get those media plan limits put in place so you’re able to limit the amount of time spent in front of devices. That’s huge.
Now, again, there’s other situations that’ll require different steps of action. In this case, if this 14 year old was making unsafe connections with people online or potentially trying to meet with people they’ve met online that they don’t know in real life, or if this 14 year old was dealing with real legitimate addiction where we’re starting to see grades struggle because of a video game addiction or an addiction to social media, in these cases more extreme steps need to be taken and it’s not just setting up a plan and limits. It might be in some cases totally removing and doing what we’ve kind of called a detox from technology in those situations. But here’s the thing I would say. The key factor and there have been a few studies that have validated this, in terms of kids that are either largely affected by technology from a negative perspective and kids that are just minimally affected and are able to work through it. One of the key factors is the involvement of the parents. So, you simply getting in, diving in, and addressing this is gonna put your family in a better place than if you just let technology happen.
Again, just a reminder, you guys send in your questions that you have, we’ll address them and one of the things we’re gonna be giving an announcement next week on kind of what the future of this show is going to be. We’ve given some hints to this. We’re gonna be changing things up in the summer, later on in the summer. So, again, join us next week. We’ll give you some more insight into that, but this is Digital Parenting Live for Friday, June 1st.