Parenting in the Age of Technology
Parenting – modern parenting – is hard. The expectations are so much higher in the digital age. We’re expected to manage our lives, our children’s lives, our children’s events, our sanity … and sometimes it seems like it’s just too much. Probably because it actually is too much – that’s a LOT of expectations. So what gives?
There are some major differences between how we grew up and how our parents grew up, but the differences between our childhood and that of our children are SO much greater. My generation was the last generation who grew up without the internet. Think about that for a second – how DIFFERENT that was. The Dewey Decimal System mattered when you had to use a card catalog at the library! Technology has changed the world for the better in a lot of ways, but there’s a lot to be fearful of as parents. We face a lot of new challenges, and parenting is on display like it never has been before. Thanks to social media, your parenting can be judged all over the world! Aren’t we lucky?!
We know, without a doubt, that children who make their own life decisions, who fall flat a few times while growing up, tend to do better in the real world. We also know that technology is a double-edged sword for helping kids along the path to self-empowerment. On one hand, it is a part of life at this point, one you and your children need to be comfortable with using but not abusing. But technology, especially touch-screen technology, is addictive. Add in validation from social media and you have a real recipe for disaster with growing brains. Research shows that kids under 8 are using mobile devices more than 2 hours a day, and most children under two have screen time despite the recommendation to the contrary from The American Academy of Pediatrics. Older kids are even more screen-dependent, spending on average between 5-7 hours a day on a device. Ouch.
For teens, screen time directly correlates with depression and anxiety – the higher the screen time, the greater the risk. So how do we empower our kids to self-regulate when it comes to screens? The Local Moms Network has a few tips – check them out in the article below.
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