Robertson’s 6 Responses to Tech and Your Teen

Can you keep up with  your teen and tech? 

The impact of the digital world is so powerful and pervasive that it’s almost impossible for most of us to keep up. That’s why I am so thankful for people like Walt Mueller (CPYU) and Paul Robertson (Youth Unlimited) who do the hard work keeping up with the changes and challenges posed by cyber space.

Here are 6 practical responses from Paul Robertson for parents:

Get to the Real Self

For older children, and teens, we need to remember that it is a child’s real self that wants to and needs to be loved, accepted, and nurtured in the physical world.

1. Ask

  • Ask them about their real-world day, and don’t forget to ask them about what’s happening in their cyber life.

2. Discuss Risks

  • Tell them about risks in the real world, accompanied by real stories—tell them about evolving risks online, and how to not show vulnerability.

3. Talk Identity

  • Talk about identity formation and what it means—distinguishing between the real world

self and the cyber self.

4. Body Talk

  • Talk about body dysmorphia (obsessed with their imperfections), eating disorders, body image, and self-esteem—and the ways their technology use may not be constructive.

5. Not Objects

  • Tell your girls not to allow themselves to become a sex object—and tell your boys not to treat girls as objects online—or anywhere else.

6. Tech Talk

  • If you discover your teen is using their tech devices in an inappropriate manner, have a discussion and not a dictum that includes taking their phones forever. Your children have no experience in navigating the bad things in their technology. Be a guide, not a dictator.

Robertson Concludes

There has never been a time in history where the strength of voices outside the immediate family speak so loudly into the lives of our kids. As parents and grandparents, we need to work hard to equip ourselves for the journey that lies ahead for our families.

Consider a Seminar

The Challenges of Growing Up in Cyber Space

This new seminar by Paul Robertson will take a detailed look at how cyber space is quietly shaping the behaviours of children and teenagers online. Topics covered will include addictive behaviors, selfies, sexting, toddlers and tablets, narcissism, cyber romance, and the need for endless feedback.

To book Paul for your group call 416-520-6831 or check for details.


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Ron Powell


Ron Powell is the Adviser to the Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at Vanguard College. He has been involved in youth ministry for over 30 years. He continues to volunteer, write, teach, and speak to parents, leaders and teens. If you would like to contact him you can email