Stories lamenting the unfortunate level of devotion that teens have to entertaining everyday technology, are easy to see. It isn’t as common to see how technology could be healthy to a young digital native today. If you’re parent to a teen, and aren’t sure how technology could be good for your kid, here are several ideas.
For some kids, technology offers focus
Certainly, technology can distract. For some, however, the myriad ways in which the Internet offers an outlet for creative expression help focus the mind, often encouraging an early start. From Musical.ly for the budding musician to Networth Queue, Acorns and Robin for the business-minded, Charity Miles for teens with organizational skills and Khan Academy, massive open online courses (MOOCs) and Pathsource for those with academic interests that school doesn’t meet, there is a great deal that the phone can bring to a teen’s life. When the mind is engaged, it helps bring focus.
Being part of a community can help
Certainly, some teens tend to easily get along with others their age; many, however, have a hard time fitting in. For teens who struggle, communities on the Internet are often excellent destinations for support. It can turn a teen’s life around to find an online group that welcomes them. Facebook isn’t the most popular destination for teens anymore. Distinc.tt is a well-loved destination for gay teens, for example, Change Talk helps teens battling obesity, Healthier Me promotes health awareness among children with autism and Attitude Mag is popular for ADHD support.
Plenty of productivity apps help teens organize their lives. Weather Live Free from Apalon Apps helps with well-organized weather reports, Habit RPG helps turn productivity to a competitive sport and 30/30 helps kids learn work-play balance.
Many teens are drawn to spirituality, but aren’t sure where to turn. For the tech-oriented, there is a way to turn the mind to meditation while still staying connected. Headspace, a popular teen meditation app, is a well-known stress buster for teens.
Apps that help teens build self-control
Teens, even when they don’t suffer from attention deficit, can have so much energy, focus can be a struggle. Several apps help young people in this age group find ways to battle the challenges in their own minds. Forest is an example. This app rewards children for not going on the phone. The longer a kid stays away from the phone, the more a virtual plant on the screen grows. A kid wouldn’t have the heart to pick up his phone if it made his virtual plant wilt a little.
Apps that help kids be better people
Plenty of apps help children defend themselves against cyber bullying attacks. Re-Think, however, starts with the bully. Parents can encourage their teens to use the app. When it senses the use of word patterns commonly found in cyber bullying messages, it throws up a warning, pleading for a rethink.
Several teen apps are ingeniously designed to help young people address the problems that most challenge them. It can help to look around and explore.
Lilly Pearce has 3 kids, two who have reached the terrible teen stage of life! Trying to keep them safe whilst also letting them have some freedom, Lilly writes about technology and how best to use it.
I had no idea there were apps like this. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but it’s heartening to see helpful apps are available amongst the sea of social media apps.
Great post! With as much time my teens spend on their phones I am glad there are positive apps out there for them. Thanks!
Mine are the exact same way Brigid! I swear they can’t even use the bathroom without taking their phones with them! It’s insane!