This is the third and last post in a series on parents, teens, and Facebook.
By Toni Birdsong
It takes courage to be a parent in this digital age. However, we often forget it takes more courage to be a teen.
Think back to junior high and high school. Think about the peer pressure, the competition, the cliques, and the conflicts. Now, magnify that. Imagine carrying that weight of the hallways home with you every single day.
That’s what kids today have to do. As digital natives who have grown up with mobile devices and social networks, teens must communicate and “get through” social jungles we never dreamed of.
Studies show a digital life can cause emotional and physical ailments in teens. They can experience anxiety, depression, and have even been known to have asthma and panic attacks over public breakups and bullying online.
On the flip side, studies also reveal increasingly that one in five people who meet online marry, that more and more people are finding employment online, and that our professional lives intrinsically are tied to our digital footprints.
Deleting the digital aspect of everyday life isn’t a practical option for our kids just as commuting to the city on a bike everyday for work isn’t a practical option for most of us.
As Christian parents our job to bring up our kids “in the way they should go,” has expanded to include digital instruction. Is this difficult? Sure it is! We’ve just got to remain agile and committed to personal learning and equally committed to leading our kids.
7 ways to help your teen navigate his or her digital life:
- Get honest about inclusiveness.