Parenting Our Digital Teens

Do you have teenagers? We should talk. How are you – how’s it goin these days? We pass each other, and sometimes I just want to stop for a bear hug! Don’t you? Because we share a lot of the same:)

Raising digital teenagers is twice the challenge. Love, be kind, encourage.

Raising double digit kids. This mix of sentiment, comedy, hustle, and joy, challenge and fear. I can honestly say it’s the most emotional season I’ve tackled as a mom.

Not just because they’re growing up, all the inevitable. But this heart-wrenching desire to prepare them for all of everything that’s out there, in a small bit of time. And protect them, because consequences today, you know. And I love them. So. Much!

Parents have said this for generations, and every 20 years brings on a new challenge. But things really are different today. Effects with technology are grandiose. Yes, there are definitely benefits. But we can’t deny the risks. Exploitation of identity, a single bad choice or mistake. One simple moment might become public, or viral.

Before now, parents never dealt with the dark hidden pain of cyberbullying. Today, there are kids with addiction and trauma, like never before. Access to things like videos of sex and suicide create deep wounds. Today’s kids face risks of sextortion and trafficking with one click of a button. God knows everything else I won’t mention.

When someone argues with me that it’s no different today, I literally bite my tongue. Please don’t be ignorant to what has evolved. Today’s parents have overtime, 7 days a week.

Screens make the role twice a challenge for us. Digital identity, documented moments, and the effects of screen time infiltrate each layer of existence. And none of us really understand where it’s headed.

*Darn* this digital tightrope we’re on!

Hey, I know it’s not the easiest conversation. Digital parenting is a tangled chat. The topic creates tension. It makes us super vulnerable to a judgy response or insecure with where we’re headed. Also, it’s not really the best date night topic. Or one for a road trip, because teenagers don’t really nap anymore;)

Maybe you’re lucky to have a friend on the same page. Let’s count that one of life’s most beautiful gifts. (Yes!) Maybe you’re new to the game, or I lost you with the mention of “screens” because your kids don’t have phones. – Yet.

It doesn’t really matter. This is life today. Moms, Dads, we’re in this, together. What are you doing about it? Here are 5 things I’m working on over here. What would you add?

Keep My Heart in Check. Stay soft and moldable.

Choose Thankfulness as a Boundary for My Mind. Always find something to be thankful for. (even when it’s not easy) Replace fear with truth, and doubt with gratitude. For what is, and what is to come.

Love Fiercely, Selflessly. Give My Kids a Chance to Know My Heart for Them. Digital parenting isn’t a game. And no one wins with a power struggle. It’s not about being right or wrong. They’ll make mistakes. I will too. Heart-centered wins!

Admit My Hopes and Uncertainties. It’s good for our kids to know we don’t have it all figured out. That’s being honest.

Bring Wisdom to the Table. Every. Chance. Technology is changing all the time, still that doesn’t make us weak. Put on truth, love, faith, peace. (Ephesians 6)

Let’s pass by each other warmly. Greet each other kindly. Love each other prayerfully. I hope at least one parent out there feels the encouragement! There is hope for every generation, yes that means ours! ~

Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His. We are his people. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name ~ For the Lord is good. His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100

Together We Thrive!

~Ayme

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