What Teens Really Want From Parents

Australian morning show Sunrise featured a segment on teens, sexting, and SnapChat today. The guest was Ross Bark, an Aussie cyber-safety expert and film maker who created the film Best Enemies, about cyber-bullying.

A take-away for parents from this morning's show was Ross's comment about what Aussie teens really want their parents to do. Before and since making the film, he has visited schools across the country, gathering young Australian's views and experiences around technology, bullying, and media.

What do teens want from their parents?

Ross said, “They want boundaries.” He explained that kids want to be able to opt out of late night texting and gaming by blaming their parents' strict rules. He went on to advise collecting devices at night, which is a longstanding tip from eQuipped.

The interruted sleep that ensues from late night texting and gaming negatively impacts their education. “After a night of gaming, they fall asleep at school,” he said. Learning cannot happen in a sleep-deprived brain.

I would add that repeatedly interrupted rest could be compromising your teen's sanity. It's a slippery slope once kids' sleep is wrecked. Sleep problems are factors contributing to (or symtoms of) common, serious mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

Parents, please protect your kids' rest. Don't let them have devices at night–that means iPads, iPods, and smart phones. Collect them all.

Remember, you've heard it from a famous film maker and cyber-safety expert on Sunrise: Your kids WANT you to say “No.”

There you go. Set those tough rules. Enforce them. Collect all devices at night and recharge them in the master bedroom. Be the “baddy” so your kids can blame you. Your teens will thank you. (Or maybe not, but that's what they really want.)



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