Tristan Gorrindo was in conversation with Stephany Tlalka, Mindful’s assistant editor, digital. Tristan Gorrindo is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hopital.
Mindful: Why is the relationship between teens and technology so precarious at times?
Tristan Gorrindo: It’s kind of like having a new dance partner. With any new partner, you’re learning to dance and you’re invariably going to be stepping on each other’s toes. That’s the same thing with technology and teen development. The two are going to interact in ways that are going to cause problems and raise lots of questions, but that should be the expectation, right? So, we should ask: How do we give kids the tools to pick up and keep moving and at the same time empower parents to be able to set some limits and know what’s in bounds and out of bounds even if they don’t totally understand the technology?
MF: Developmentally speaking, what’s going on with kids during their teenage years?
TG: A teenager is trying to accomplish a couple different tasks. They’re going through a process of identity formation and a natural part of identity formation is separating from one’s parents. They’re trying to figure out, “Can I…