It’s likely that your children have little to no experience of life without a smart phone, laptop, tablet, etc. Their understanding of technology has been largely “touch screen” and “voice activated.” They would probably rather send an email than call their grandparents. Differences in your experiences with technology don’t have to start a fight. The more you can extend yourself to your child’s approach to technology, the better you can communicate and develop your own skillset.
Kids/teens are introduced to new devices through peers and courses regularly. Having the newest and fastest technology is priority. Talk to your kids about the devices they use most frequently. Do they use a smart phone more than any other device? If they have their laptop in class, how are they using it to better engage with their lecture? Ask them to show you how to use any devices you need help with.
Your kids and teens have grown up in a world of instant messages and emails. Their language has evolved to reflect the fast paced communication provided by new devices. When you don’t recognize terms or phrases used by your teens or others, do something about it! Ask your teen or simply Google the term.
Teens are naturally adept at using computer interfaces and have a knack for troubleshooting. Getting your children/teens to teach you new ways to use technology is a great way to empower them and improve your relationship. Let them know you’d like to learn something new or download a new app they are interested in.
Your role in your teen’s life both on and offline is more important than ever. They may be more tech savvy than you, but they have yet to develop a consistent value system to navigate problematic social situations online. It’s also important to establish a healthy balance between screen time and sleep time in your household. At then end of the day, it’s best to encourage a strong online/offline communication system with your kids.