Expert tips and tricks for raising teens in the digital age

Are we raising a generation of self-entitled and disrespectful people?

Author and parenting guru Michelle Mitchell seems to think so, claiming in her new book that parents these days are so caught up in boosting their child’s self-esteem that they’re raising a rude generation.

She claims overly praising children, not allowing them to solve their own problems, and introducing bad habits were all contributing to a problematic generational shift.

“We are over parenting and overpraising because we are so scared of affecting our kids’ confidence,” she said.

“So we hover over them, constantly ask them about their day and rescue them all the time because we don’t want them to have negative feelings.”

Social media is seen as a large culprit, with Ms Mitchell blaming parents for allowing unrestricted access to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

“The main issue with unrestricted social media is that kids have a tendency to only see the positive side of what’s posted and not so much the bad bits which reinforces the notion we live in a perfect world,” she wrote.

A large symptom of social media is increased levels of anxiety amongst teens, with many fearing that they must be boring if they aren’t posting exciting photos or living up to standards seen from celebrities.

Young girls in particular are at a greater risk, with many being sexualised at an earlier age due to social media’s over-exposure.

Ms Mitchell said many young girls do not have the emotional maturity to deal with such issues, saying many were getting into trouble with bullying and sexualisation.

A key example is the sharing of nude photos between young people, with many fearing the consequences of saying no, but unaware of how easily these things can spread.

“Once you press send you don’t know where it goes or who to,” she said.

“I’m not saying don’t let them have social media and smartphones, but if you’re a parent, own the technology and give them the privilege of using it.

“If you do let your daughter on social media make them sign a contract with you.

“Parents might say, ‘but what about privacy?’ I say you’re doing them a disservice by not doing this. Insist on transparency,” she said.