Technology can be a lifesaver. Need to know a good vanilla extract substitute for a cookie recipe? Just ask Siri. Need to help your daughter with her science experiment? Fire up the computer and Google “steps for science fair projects.” Need to keep your children entertained while you are cleaning the house? Set up a Wii bowling tournament.
Technology can be a major help to parents and teens; it can also quickly become a drug. Always needing just a little bit more, taking away from your health, relationships and general sanity. Teen Internet addiction is becoming increasingly prevalent among adolescents.
Treating teen Internet addiction
Wilderness therapy can have a positive impact on teens struggling with Internet addiction. The ability to address underlying issues away from the temptation of computers and smart phones can be found in a few other places. We have seen great change from teens who use social media or gaming as unhealthy stress-relief or peer connection. However, it is always easier to prevent issues before they arise.
Parenting teens in a digital world
As you see your teen getting sucked into more and more time being “plugged in,” there are some things you can do to help:
- Lead by example. If you spend all of your free time scanning your Facebook newsfeed, your teens will automatically pick up on that behavior.
- Designate times or places in the home that are specifically for personal technology use and times that are strictly “screen free.” Include your teen in the decision process to determine times to make sure they are bought in to the new rules.
- Find exciting activities to replace media use by having a family game night or go bowling. Ensure your child is connecting with peers more than just online. Get them involved in extra-curricular activities they enjoy and are passionate about.
Teach your teens about technology
Technology does not have to be an all or nothing thing. It can be a useful tool that enhances our lives when used appropriately. Teach your teen about the benefits technology has brought them and the responsibility each of us has in using it.
To learn about what teen Internet addiction is and how your son or daughter may be impacted, read more here.