Computer freedom is something we gain as we grow up. As kids we have a family PC and all our online actions are monitored, and as a teen we start to strive for a bit of impedance and privacy away from this model. And as a parent, it can be hard to let go and let your child do their own thing with a laptop or smartphone, but it’s a necessary step for them.
After all, we live in a digital age now, and it’s important we let our teens experience working with a computer in front of them. But if you’re struggling to give your teen the kind of technical freedom they need, this post is here to help. Here are some ways to allow them space when all you want to do is put more website blockers up.
You need to be able to trust your teen right now, and in turn, they need to be able to trust that you’re not going to snoop at every available opportunity. It runs both ways! So make sure you talk about this before you decide to lift the blocks on certain websites, or when you allow them more screen time per week.
Talk about what you expect, and remind them what they can expect from you. In doing so, you’ll give your teen a taste of the ‘adult’ responsibility they’re on the lookout for. You also reassure them that you’re both on the same side; most of all, remind them that if they see anything they don’t like, you’re there to support and not judge.
Give Them a Crash Course
You’ll never know what your teen knows about using their PC unless you sit down and talk! So following on from the talk above, make sure you delve into what they know how to do. Talk about basic skills, such as typing and being able to navigate with a search engine, but then ask them about more advanced techniques, such as touch typing and using search engine filters.
Similarly, talk about their technical proficiency as a whole. They need to look after the phone or laptop you’ve given them, and that means keeping it clean and ensuring the disk space is never taken up. You can use this link to help them manage the latter point, if you find they have no clue about managing storage space!
Be a Role Model
Finally, you have to be a role model, but do so in a subtle way! Every so often, talk about how you saw something you didn’t like and blocked the page or poster as a result. Talk about how you can never be sure who you’re talking to online, so you like to be careful what you say. In doing so, you prevent yourself from becoming ‘preachy’, and keep these talks as casual as they need to be.
Computer freedom is something a teen can gain from, so don’t be afraid to allow it!