Teaching Teens Healthy Habits Around Technology

I recently had the chance to sit with my friend Lauren Muriello of Well Being Therapy Center, a great therapist who works primarily with teenage girls. Lauren worked with me at camp for many years before leaving to start a family and a successful business.


I talked with Lauren about several topics regarding teenagers and parents. One of Lauren’s areas of expertise is technology and social media as it relates to teenagers.

In this video, Lauren points out how addicting technology, social media, and video games can be. She discusses neuroscience research, which shows that the same areas of the brain that get stimulated from drugs and alcohol get stimulated when we are on social media.

Walking our talk

What I found most important and interesting was when Lauren talks about the importance for parents to put down their phone when their child is talking to them and to look them in the eyes.

We often talk about how teenagers can’t put their phones down, and while it’s true, many parents have the same difficulty. Our kids are watching us and imitating what we do, regardless of what we say.

Sage advice about parenting

I once heard the poet David Whyte say …

'One of the worst things we do to our children is to give them the feeling that they are a burden to us.' -David WhyteClick To Tweet


I think of his words often when my daughter wants to talk or play with me and I just want to finish some work on my computer. We all know how it feels to try to talk with someone who is staring at their phone or texting — not very good. I think Lauren’s advice to parents on their own cell phone usage is spot on.

The thing that teens want more than anything else is to be heard and respected. Make sure you let your children know that they come first, ahead of whatever is on your device.

Earning your child’s respect

Put your phone down when they are talking to you. Look them in the eye. If you can genuinely care about your child’s perspective and what they have to say, it will go a long way towards earning their respect, and when you have their respect, it is much easier to help them develop healthy habits around things like cell phone usage.

“Parenting and Digital Technology” Video Series

I do hope you get a chance to watch the video above and opt in for the whole series. I think there are some good takeaways sprinkled throughout. If you missed the opt-in form at the end of the video, here it is again.

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Adam Simon, Odyssey Teen Camp Director

Adam Simon

I'm Adam Simon. I started teen camp eighteen years ago with the vision of creating a space where teenagers would know they are safe from bullying or negative judgments and would feel free to show who they really are and to become their best selves. Let's connect, discuss, and engage...
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Find Out About Odyssey Teen Camp

A Non-Profit Overnight Summer Camp For Teens Ages 13-18
Located in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.