How to raise digitally conscious teenagers?

Füzes Nóra | psychologist, junior consultant

Füzes Nóra | psychologist, junior consultant

To ban or to allow?

The 3 key pillars of digital education

“Should I ban or allow? If I allow it, what should the time limit be? Should I watch what pages she/he’s looking at?”. We could go on for hours with the most common questions of parental concern about digitalisation. Is the fear justified? This is the subject of my next article.

Digitalisation is often demonised, but this is no accident. A 2016 study confirms that excessive, uncontrolled use of digital devices has a number of negative effects. The most common of these include: sensory and physical deformities, visual and hearing impairment, increased aggression, anxiety, fear, and changes in social relationships. Since avoiding use after a certain age is not only impossible but can be particularly harmful, it may be worth looking at issues related to digitalisation from a different camera angle.


Nowadays, awareness is almost a buzzword, as it has become one of the most commonly used words in pop culture. “Be conscious about what you eat! Be conscious about your work and leisure! Be conscious about sport and everyday life.” Sounds exhausting, right? The bad news is that without mindfulness we can become extremely vulnerable, as the stimuli that overwhelm us can cause not only frustration and anxiety, but also a loss of direction.

This is one of the pillars of digital education:

“Be aware!”

Know that your child may often be better and more versatile in their use of digital devices, and therefore more exposed to the influences they are exposed to. Talk to them, ask questions and set rules together.


Opinions are also divided on limits. Some say that they are restrictive and unnecessary, others say that decidedly narrow limits is needed for order. As many studies have shown,

in digital education it’s necessary to pose limits,

because they give safety.

ugyanis nem csak határt szabnak, de biztonságot is adnak. How much time you are allowed to use it may vary depending on your age, but one thing is certain: every extreme leads to pathology.

Overstimulation in early childhood can lead to cognitive impairment later in life, while the same time can be fully accommodated at an older age. Again, the first rule is to pay close attention to the child and ask for help when necessary. It has been proven in many cases that neither prohibition nor overindulgence is successful in the long term, as both laissez faire and autocratic digital parenting are anxiety-provoking, so try to find common solutions while keeping within limits.

Getting informed

And what is the basis for setting the framework? This is perhaps one of the most important questions. Before we set limits,

we should seek information from a credible, professional source about the real risks, age-specific characteristics and, where appropriate, seek help from professionals.

Dániel Tóth, one of Hungary’s foremost experts on the subject, recently published a book on Digital Education, which can not only be of interest but also a crutch for all concerned.



– Kim, S.-Y. – Koo, S.-J. (2016) Effect of duration of smartphone use on muscle fatigue and pain caused by forward head posture in adults Journal of Physical Therapy Science 28, 1669-1672. DOI: 10.1589/jpts.28.1669

– Somosköviné Burka, I. (1997). stress and anxiety in today’s primary schools (Doctoral dissertation, xarc-egc).

– Tóth Dániel: Digital Education – A guide to the maze of the internet, video games and smartphones, Book Mentors, 2022