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10 Tech Truths From Parents That Teens Need to Hear

You can come to me. I can handle it. I will help you. Even if I'm unsure, I will still help you. Even if I have feelings of anger or sadness or uncertainty, we can figure it out. We are stronger together. I understand.
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Teenage girl lying on front using laptop
Teenage girl lying on front using laptop

We have a lot more in common with our teens than we usually like to admit. In my work with adults and young people, the parallel uses and beliefs about technology are often a perfect match. Don't believe me? See below! You said so yourself! Now, I think your teens need to hear it from you.

Disclaimer: Saying "I understand" does not prevent us from parenting. It does not stop us from setting boundaries and having consequences -- natural or otherwise. It does not stop us from having conversations and feeling feelings based on our beliefs and values. It does, however, build a bridge instead of a wall. All kinds of amazing things can happen when we can relate. Give it a try.

1. I love technology too. A lot. Like so much. I sometimes worry that I use it too much. It's everywhere. It's constant. It's hard to put down. I understand.

2. I sometimes feel left out when I look at other people's pictures online. I feel like I should be doing something more or different or better. I understand.

3. I have been misunderstood online. I have said something I shouldn't have. I have commented out of impulse. I have made mistakes. I understand.

4. I play apps and games all the time. In the bathroom. In the waiting room. During your soccer game. While you're telling me an important story. And when I'm not gaming, I want to be. I understand.

5. Technology distracts me from my work. A task that should take half an hour can take me all morning because I start reading articles and watching videos and scrolling my news feeds constantly. I understand.

6. I like likes. I understand.

7. I want to binge watch all kinds of stuff like you do. I'm so jealous. And even though I make you go outside for a little sunshine and do chores and homework and eat meals at the table, I really want to curl up under the covers too. I understand.

8. I have seen things on the internet I wish I didn't see. Often by accident. Sometimes I've followed a trail of "can't stop" clicks. Please don't remind me of them. It's hard to get it out of my head. I understand.

9. Insert the thing you would have done with technology when you were young: (I'll help you out with a little example): I totally would have sexted. Or at least gateway sexted or impulse sexted or been sexual in reference or implication or at least tried really damn hard to be sexy. I probably would have sent that pic. I understand.

10. You can come to me. I can handle it. I will help you. Even if I'm unsure, I will still help you. Even if I have feelings of anger or sadness or uncertainty, we can figure it out. We are stronger together. I understand.

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