When parents are outsmarted by their teens and technology

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When parents are outsmarted by their teens and technology

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When a parent feels outsmarted by technology, that their teen knows more than they do; take comfort, a lot of parents feel that way. When I do my parent talks, parents come up to me all the time saying, "Please teach me how to use technology!" Or other things that parents say are, "I don't go on Facebook, I don't believe in it." That's not necessarily the best attitude because your child is on this tool, they're using this stuff, and you need to live where your children live. You need to learn what they do, and you need to trust that you have a lot to offer. Socially and emotionally, they're still learning so much at this age and you've gone through it; you've been through these teen years. You can bring that offline learning to their online world. The other thing is, cognitively, they're not even fully developed until their early 20s. Their brain is still developing, so you can bring that thinking, that self-regulation that you've learned to help them navigate this world. Even if you feel unsure, seek other parents, go to parent talks, educate yourself. Common sense media has parent resources; it's really important to embrace their world, and try to live where they live.

Watch Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD 's video on When parents are outsmarted by their teens and technology...

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Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD

Regional Director, Common Sense Media

Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD, is the Regional Director of Common Sense Media, the leading non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. Yalda's own research with the Children's Digital Media at UCLA was written about in the New York Times, CNN, Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, and more. As an expert on media’s effects on children, Yalda has been featured on the BBC News, KPCC, the LA Times and many other news outlets. Her awards include UCLA's Psychology in Action Award for excellence in communicating psychological research to audiences beyond academia as well as honorable mention for the National Science Foundation's GSRF. Yalda's former career as a Senior VP at MGM, in film production, informs her perspective that media content has great power to socialize children, to inspire and teach as well as to be used inappropriately. In her talks, she brings her deep knowledge of the latest research about how children ages eight to 18 use media, as well as a realistic understanding of how digital natives use media from her experiences with her two children, ages 10 and 13.  Her newest book, Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age will be published in Fall 2015. 

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