The Parents’ Guide to Smartphones, Social Media, and Texting

Teenagers today are addicted to their electronic devices. They text during class, post on SnapChat while they do their homework, and browse Instagram until 2 or 3 AM when they are supposed to be sleeping. How should parents handle smartphones and social media?

A big part of the problem is that the teenage brain is highly attuned to rewards. So the instant gratification that comes with the ping of Likes and new followers is nearly impossible to resist. Smartphones are specifically designed to be like candy to the teenage brain. Studies show that the notifications from social media produce a surge of activity in the teenage reward system.

Parents need to be aware of this and help their teens learn how to put limits on screen time. Joani Geltman helps parents deal with issues like smartphones and social media all the time. She is the bestselling author of A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens.

In this episode of the podcast, Joani outlines some simple and effective solutions.

She also talks at length about vaping, and a related phenomenon called “juuling”, serious problems that many parents are worried about today.

As an example of how to put this into practice with your own teenager, I developed a word-for-word script you can use for inspiration (or even just memorize). To download it free now, enter your first name and email below. I’ll also show you how to sign up for my free 10-day email course that reveals the secret method behind the word-for-word script. And I’ll even hook you up with a free trial membership to the entire website!

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2 Quotes from
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About Joani Geltman

The author of the bestselling book, A Survival Guide To Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids About Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things That Freak You Out, Joani Geltman has been featured in or written for USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Washington PostHuffington PostPsychology Today, Mommy & Me,, Working Family, Global Post Parenting, and on scores of blogs.

Geltman has spoken to thousands of parents, educators, and students at hundreds of schools. The sought-after speaker delivers more than 40 seminars a year to schools, community groups, businesses, churches, and temples. She has developed seminars such as: Adolescent Psychology The Parent Version, Sexting and Texting What’s A Parent To Do?, Understanding Your Teen’s Drinking and Drug Use, and  Bullyproofing Your Teen.

She has served as an adjunct professor for the past two decades at Curry College in Milton, MA. Geltman teaches in the department of psychology, covering child and adolescent development, family psychology, and dysfunctional family life.

A resident of Natick, MA, Geltman earned her Bachelor of Science in education from Lesley College and her Master of social work from Washington University.

She posts regularly on  and blogs three times a week at  For more information, please consult:

About Andy
Andy Earle is a researcher at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he studies adolescent risk behavior and the role of parents in helping teens thrive. He publishes papers and speaks to groups of parents about the science of talking to teens. Reach him any time at [email protected]
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