An excellent article here from Parenting for a Digital Future. Do read the whole article closely but particularly note:
“Our task is to help parents become authoritative digital parents instead of taking overly authoritarian or underinvolved approaches to their children’s media use.” (“Authoritarian” means being too strict, banning young people and making it hard for them to admit to problems. Being “underinvolved” can come from believing that your children will always know more than you about online life and so abrogating parental responsibility.) They go on to say that authoritative digital parenting means: “Providing high levels of warmth; Giving children the space to make mistakes; High expectations; Age-appropriate, negotiated boundaries.”
The “high expectations” was interesting to me. It echoes my message in The Teenage Guide to Life Online because I do not take the line of, “Young people are always online – what on earth are they doing? It must be rubbish.” (Especially since when I’m on trains and watch adults on their phones, those adults are mostly playing Candy Crush Saga, believe me.) I believe that young people do amazing, clever, useful, enriching things online – and some rubbish, too, just like adults – and only when we engage with the positives can we negotiate and encourage healthy behaviours. Believe that young people want to embrace healthy, fulfilling, well-controlled, positive behaviours and results, and that’s what you’ll more often get.
Trust and respect of young people by adults are extremely powerful tools but, if we start by sharing really good quality information and understanding with our young people, it’s a lot easier to offer that trust and respect.