7 Ways to Support Your Teen's Digital Wellbeing

7 Ways to Support Your Teen's Digital Wellbeing


Written by Tanya Goodin, author of 'The Teenage Guide to Digital Wellbeing'.

Although you may feel at times that your digital native knows more about the online world than you do, there’s actually still a lot you can teach them around their digital wellbeing. It’s important for you to be the guide for your teen in building their healthy digital life, so, here are seven practical tips to help your tween or teen develop positive digital habits.

Model healthy digital behaviour:

As the parent, you are the most influential role model in your child’s life. Show them how to have a balanced relationship with technology by setting boundaries for your own digital use. Prioritise family time and real-world interactions over screen time. This can mean having no-phone zones in the house or setting specific times when devices are put away and you focus completely on your family.

Ask questions:

Talk to your teen about their digital lives. Be interested, not intrusive. Ask about their favourite apps, games, influencers, or viral videos. Ask them to share something with you they’ve come across online recently that they love. Understanding their digital world will help you provide them with better guidance and support.

Educate them about online safety:

It’s important for teens to understand the risks associated with the digital world, risks such as cyberbullying, online scams, and oversharing their personal information. Educate them about maintaining privacy settings, recognising suspicious activities online, and the importance of coming to you if they encounter something which concerns them. (The NSPCC have some great resources for parents). Emphasise that there will be absolutely no judgment if they get into difficulties and that you will always be there to help.

Encourage their tech-free time:

Help your teen build a life that includes spaces without tech. This could be during meals, before bedtime, or a specific time during the weekend. Encourage them in the one thing they love that consistently gets them off a screen - playing sport, a musical instrument or art perhaps - and make sure they don’t give it up during their tricky mid-teen years in favour of more screen time.

Nurture their critical thinking:

With the vast amount of - at times misleading often false - information available online, it’s important for teens to learn how to distinguish between credible sources and misinformation. Encourage them to question what they read online and to always cross check facts with reliable sources (like BBC Verify). Discuss news stories about deep fakes and disinformation over the meal table and share strategies on how to work out what’s true and what’s false online.

Balance screen time with time outside:

Encourage your teen to get outside several times a day, maybe for a walk, playing a sport, or even picking up something from the shops for you. Fresh air and green spaces work wonders for exam-stressed or anxious teens, encourage them to take in as much of it as you can.

Recognise the positive aspects of technology:

It’s easy to focus on the negative or worrying aspects of their digital lives but remember that technology is also a tool for learning, creativity, and connection with their friends. Encourage your teen to use digital platforms to explore their interests, learn new skills, and stay connected with friends and family in positive ways.

Even if you feel at sea sometimes with the way technology is developing or the speed at which new platforms are springing up, you can still help your teen develop a balanced and healthy relationship with tech. Remember, it’s about guiding and supporting them rather than policing their every digital move (unless they are very young). With your help, they can learn to navigate the digital world in a way that is balanced and healthy.


Written by digital wellbeing expert Tanya Goodin, The Teenage Guide to Digital Wellbeing is packed with positive prompts, thought-provoking science, and hands-on activities to encourage healthy habits around screen use – including nostalgic crafts, retro tech scavenger hunts, and phone-free nature excursions, plus practical tips on how to deal with digital challenges like comparison culture, cyberbullying, trolling, and much more.