We all agree that parenting today differs quite a lot from parenting in the past. Many factors affect this being so, but the biggest impact has the technology and the internet. And talking specifically from the end of 2019, the global pandemic has also made it harder. Besides learning how to be a better parent with the omnipresence of technology, parents also needed to learn how to raise pandemic babies. Some basic principles of parenting remain the same as those in the past, but, many have changed due to all of these modern digital advancements. The digital age has both positive and negative effects on all the people, children as well as doing business and raising children.
Even though the use of technology has plenty of benefits, we will focus only on negative ones as we want to offer parenting advice on how to mitigate them. There are a few key effects that we need to deal with as parents. First of all, all kinds of content are widely available and everybody can access it easily. Secondly, if children use technology too much they might become inactive and too passive. Also, due to a lack of real-life interaction and communication, children can end up having underdeveloped language skills. Moreover, lack of creativity, poor concentration, and disorganization are also possible outcomes of abusive use of technology. Among other things, the role and aim of parenting are to teach their children how to use technology to their advantage.
Today, all kinds of content are widely available to everybody with a phone, tablet, or laptop. And as children are curious, they want to see everything. From a very young age, they already know how to use and navigate any of the previously mentioned devices. They are natural somehow. However, this doesn’t mean that we should let them use it without supervision and control.
Advice for parents: There are plenty of parental control apps that can be used to limit access to devices children use. You can also use technology to your advantage and track your children with a GPS watch. These smart inventions aid parenting a lot.
The second biggest issue caused by using technology too much is child obesity. Child obesity has become a global problem, induced by children being too inactive and passive. Without any control, children can spend a whole day laying around and watching cartoons/videos or playing games on the phone. But this is not good for their health.
Advice for parents: In order to avoid this serious problem, arrange some family time activities for after picking up kids from full day care. That can be ice skating, taking a walk, playing in the park or playing some sports.
Another common issue resulting from using technology way too much are underdeveloped language skills. When watching a cartoon or playing a game on some of the devices, children only take in information – and they don’t reciprocate. Usually, there is no speaking at all, and sometimes not even listening. Hence, logically, children don’t develop their speaking and listening skills, along with some other cognitive and social skills as well. There is no human interaction, just technological.
Advice for parents: Limit screen time to your little ones. You should do that from an early age, otherwise, they will make a fuss when not allowed to use a phone for instance. Speak to them frequently, read to them, sing and interact.
This is connected to the previously mentioned issue. Interacting with a device is one-way interaction, so children can’t get much out of it. It can hardly spark creativity in children. So, it is the parents’ role to teach it to children. Parents need to be involved actively in this process. A device and the internet can’t teach your children how they should live their lives and behave.
Advice for parents: Dedicate some time to your children and do something creative together. Draw, paint, build lego, make some crafts – do whatever requires a little creativity and imagination. This is essential at a very young age – if taught on time, children will pick up this skill.
Technology can also somehow mesmerise and hypnotise children when watching a cartoon or playing a game. This can lead to poor concentration and disorganization when in school, in whatever scenario that doesn’t involve active use of technology.
Advice for parents: Practice children’s memory by playing some games for developing cognitive skills. And teach them how to organize their toys and books for example.
Being a parent is not an easy task, especially nowadays, when we live in an information-abundant and technology-dominated world. Use the common sense, knowledge and experience you have to teach your children values to help them succeed in life. Parenting is tough.
Jess Cooper is a part-time journalist and blogger based in Sydney, Australia. She is an energetic, creative highly motivated person with plenty of interests. The most prominent areas of interest include makeup and cosmetics, fashion, style, event organization and decoration, healthy food, fitness, learning languages as well as home improvement. Jess loves learning about new things and having the chance to combine those insights with her ideas and spread them to the world. She enjoys having a mindful and well-organized, healthy life, filled with all kinds of different activities and interwoven with close friendships.