The widespread adoption of mobile phones, internet, and other digital technology has changed parenting. Though these tools have shared parents’ burden allowing them to educate, entertain and remotely monitor their teens and tweens, they have raised more challenges necessitating more decisions and more research to figure out what is appropriate for their children and what is not. Today’s kids spend plenty of time using mobile phones, computers, gaming consoles and other digital technologies without bothering the horrible consequences associated with the excessive use of these gadgets. Meanwhile, the latest technologies have imbalanced working parents’ work and life as well as weakening the parent-kid bond. This article discusses the negative effects of technology on parenting and how it has made parenting more challenging.
Imbalanced Work Life
While technology has provided more opportunities for employment allowing remote working, it has made balancing work and life a daunting task. After giving nine hours to work, your employer wants you to dedicate your free time to work. The availability of internet and computer devices at home keeps working parents engage in their work even on weekends and holidays. It leaves parents with inadequate time to spend with their kids, make fun plans and strengthen their relationship. Helping kids with their homework, listening to their problems and being available for them when needed is a balancing act. Managing how you use technology outside of work allows your children to have your full attention after working hours and on weekends.
Poor Parent-Kid Relationship
More than 37% parents give their mobile phones to distract their kids while cooking or executing any household work. Around 17% use phones to soothe crying kids. Since the kids are been introduced to the mobile phone technology at an early age, they get attached to these gadgets more than their parents. On the other, parents have more things to focus and update on social media. Both parents and kids give more of their time to screens instead of giving it to each other. When parents could not make time to converse and play with their children, the kids may feel unvalued and ostracized. All this puts a negative effect on the parent-kid relationship and can lead to several parenting issues.
More Decisions and Research
Technology has changed the way our children learn, play and communicate. They learn to swipe mobile phone screen before they can hold a crayon. They have mobile apps and software to learn to count and get introduced to all educational subjects. They have gaming apps, messaging and social media apps to get their hands on. Parents have to choose from this software, apps, and gadgets. A lot of research is required to help your kid pick a technology appropriate to their age.
Studies confirm that kids spend most of their hours sticking to phones, tablets or gaming devices. They can’t even travel without putting these gadgets down. The technology seems like an addiction which has increased the dependency and decreased personal functioning. The tech addiction is making children and adults more spontaneous, short-tempered and less empathic. They are more likely to teens suffered from social isolation, sleep disorder, low self-esteem and poor social skills. Kids never want to take a break from these technologies. Setting limits on technology use is a crucial part of parenting but it can make you unpopular with your children. If you only set limits for the use of technology and do not provide enough family activities without technology, you can cause your kids feel isolated and dejected.
Monitoring has always been a part of parenting. However, the digital generation has a whole new digital world to experience. Today, parents are not just responsible to monitor their kids’ real lives but they are obligated to follow their cyber lives as well. Providing the unsupervised internet access to your children is like leaving them in the most dangerous place unaccompanied. There are cyber-bullies, online child predators, scammers, and scoundrels on the internet that can put your kids’ security at risk. They may expose to objectionable and age-inappropriate content on their favorite social networking sites. These online threats compel parents to monitor their kids’ online and offline activities to safeguard them from the vulnerabilities.
The Bottom Line
Parenting has never been a cinch but the latest technologies have made it more challenging. Parents must control technology rather than letting it control them and their kids. The unsupervised and unbridled technology is not healthy for any age group. Use parental controls and involve your kids in healthy family activities without technology.