Verizon Wireless helping parents balance teens online privacy and safety

helicopter parents watching child closely verizon wireless

Let’s face it, being a parent has always been difficult, but in today’s online digital age, it can be a real nightmare. Remember way back when our parents let us outside all day without having to worry about something bad happening?

Yeah, that was a long long time ago, and with all the technology to help our lives be more productive, it’s turned some of us into helicopter parents or even worse, drone parents, who just can’t let their kids out of their eye site. It’s become almost an impossible task with all the dangers lurking not just outside in the real world but on the internet.

Then when our kids grow into that teen phase, we remember how we were then, and it can turn us into that parent that constantly spies on them and wonders why our kids hate that. I remember this all too well and wanting to protect our kids from any and all danger puts us in a hard place. We want them to talk to us, but if we’re constantly spying on them, they won’t feel like we trust them. Who would want to talk to someone if they felt they didn’t trust them?

For those of us feeling like this, Verizon Wireless has created “The Parents Guide to Kids and Tech” that is a great starting point as it covers all the topics we parents can relate to. Especially if you monitor your child’s activity on all social media and everything internet related. I personally know how hard it can be once you open Pandora’s box of ‘just checking in’ to see that your kids aren’t’ getting into trouble or hitting any potentially dangerous sites. Once you start doing that, it’s similar to that first time you discovered Facebook and Twitter. You dabbled a little, then suddenly you were always on it. That’s how easy it is to become that parent to your teens.

In 2018 the Pew Research Center discovered that 61 percent of parents “have checked which websites their teen has visited.” It’s something that every responsible parent will do, but we also have to realize that teens need some privacy and freedom to be able to express themselves. It’s quite the highwire act we parents have, but Verizon Wireless has created some great tools to help keep that trust and safety issue in check.

verizon gizmowatch mttg

One great article for those parents not sure when the right age is for their child to have a smartphone is about the GizmoWatch that helps prepare them with a great safety net. Verizon has created a wonderful line of Gizmo products like their Tablet by Samsung which lets them learn while they play but also allows you to fully customize what they see on it.

One of the biggest places that our kids learn about spending so much time online is from us. Yes, us. We are just as guilty of keeping that smartphone by our side or sneaking out to check our Twitter feed like we’re sneaking outside for a smoke. If we can’t wean ourselves off our phones and social media, how can we expect our kids to do the same?

By doing simple things like creating tech-free time and places or even a tech detox weekend can help your family have better quality time. It might sound impossible for some of you, but trust me, after a day of not checking the internet constantly, will have you really seeing the world outside. Imagine going to a concert where you’re not watching it through that 7″ screen but in real life image!

As children often model their parents, they can also learn how to act responsibly on social media if they see you doing the same thing. As the internet gives many people that feeling of venting or rage tweeting, get your kids to realize that there is a real person with real feelings at the other end, even if they can’t see them. If they realize that they should treat others online as they would if they were standing in front of them, they can learn to be much more respectful. Plus, showing them how everything they say online stays online forever throughout their lifetime is very important.

As a parent we walk such a fine line trying to do right by our children, but we do need help from time to time and Verizon Wireless has created a true lifesaver with this guide!

You can read all about The Parents’ Guide to Kids and Tech and see how well it resonates.

This is a sponsored post by Verizon Wireless. All opinions are my own.