I remember the first time my husband and I started to see the effects of social media and device use on our kids. At first it was anxiousness, which quickly turned to surliness, and then soon a barrage of behaviors followed that left us scratching our heads. These were not our children.
It took some patient and gentle probing to get to the bottom of what was going on that seemed to be pulling them farther and farther from us. When we realized they were each suffering in their own ways from the effects of social media and digital use we were speechless – partly because we were just plain naive and partly because we recognized that we could relate to some of what they were experiencing (Hello, FOMO).
We are the very first generation of parents and kids living in the digital world together. This is unchartered territory for sure. So when our family faced this stumbling block, I went looking for answers. And as we all know, the internet of things has more information than we know what to do with – much of it questionable advice. Some seemed to minimize the grief, anxiety, depression, cyberbullying, harmful communities, and stranger danger. Others promoted a hardline, restrictive approach. Finding something in the middle was like searching for a needle in a haystack. After nearly two decades of working with youth, I knew I had to start a conversation.
I created Let’s Talk Teens™ as a resource for parents, their pre-teens, teens, and young adults out of a sincere desire to do something about the growing problem of social media and device use. Within its pages you will find informative articles, a variety of resources and practical tools, workshops, and even private coaching if you need a little extra, nonjudgmental support.
Over the course of my career, I have developed a network of counselors, therapists, nonprofits, youth workers, amazing parents, and teens themselves who will add to the conversation to help walk us through this process.