|There are a lot of cases where parents are glued to their phones or mobile tablets that they have neglected their kids. / Photo by: Dmytro Zinkevych via 123rf|
Is technology steering kids away from their parents or family? This is a question that most parents should ask themselves in this digital era. As the younger generation becomes increasingly dependent on the wonders of technology, it is time to ponder upon its significant effect on the relationship between parents and their children.
While there is no arguing that technology has made things easier for our lives as it makes us work faster and more efficiently, there is a price to pay. This is a time when we need to figure out how we can compete for our children’s attention with their growing addiction to gadgets. Today, with all the high-tech devices that have become ubiquitous in many a home, parenting has arguably become more challenging.
Fortunately, as technology can hamper parenting, it can also enrich it. For example, parents can stay connected with their children through video calls even if they are away for a few days. However, having gadgets can make parents similarly obsessed with them. And there are a lot of cases where they are glued to their phones or mobile tablets that they have neglected their kids.
Kids and Parents Relationship
The Real Side, a website that provides news and articles, reported that technology is progressively becoming part of our everyday lives. Many children today are brought up in an environment surrounded by digital devices such as smartphones and tablets that are always connected to the internet.
Many children are becoming influenced by violent video games and alarming web content. These can seriously harm their mental and emotional development. It is the parents’ responsibility to prevent and mitigate the negative effects of technology on their children. They will be burdened with the task of monitoring their child’s behavior and activity online and on digital devices since virtual life is taking them away from personal interactions. People are becoming more dependent on technology that a lot of quality time between parents and their children are sacrificed. Parent Circle, an Indian mass circulation monthly magazine, reported that an anthropological study conducted by Dr. Jenny Radesky from the Boston Medical Center found that 73 percent of caregivers use their devices even during meals.
|Many children are becoming influenced by violent video games and alarming web content which can seriously harm their mental and emotional development. / Photo by: dolgachov via 123rf|
Developing Negative Emotions
Since parents and children are busy in front of their screens, it makes their personal connection blurred. Parents who are busy with their cellphones are likely to have more negative interactions with their children. For instance, when they are interrupted in the middle of tapping away on their phones by their hungry children, parents are more likely to get irritated and angry.
The brain senses an urgency to finish the task at hand, and this includes texting or typing on a smartphone or tablet. This translates into an escalation of stress levels since no one stops at one text or a single message through the mail. When a person is interrupted in this certain task, their stress levels can cause them to become irritable and impatient. Children, on the other hand, can feel neglected when their parents shush them or make just little to no eye contact with them.
|Since parents and children are busy in front of their screens, it makes their personal connection blurred. / Photo by: ximagination via 123rf|
Screen Time Affects Children’s Brain
There are a lot of articles and studies about how screen time affects children's brains. Allowing children to use gadgets too much can harm their brains. USA Today, an internationally distributed American daily, middle-market newspaper, reported on their website that a study at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found out that the parts of the brain that is prone to damage are those that support language and self-regulation.
“Screen-based media use is prevalent and increasing in homes, childcare, and school settings at ever younger ages,” Dr. John Hutton, the author of the study and director of the Reading and Literacy Discovery Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, said. These findings highlight the need for researchers to understand further the effects of screen time on a child’s brain as it can be critical in the stages of dynamic brain development in early childhood.
With these findings, the academy suggested that children younger than 18 months should be prevented from spending much time on screen except when video chatting on a limited basis. Parents should also learn how to monitor digital media and watch it with their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics also said that for children who are between 2 to 5 years old, it is recommended to limit screen hours to an hour a day.
How Parents Can Adapt to the Technological Challenges Ahead
As parents, it is their responsibility to make their children learn about the consequences of using technology. As we take advantage of technology and its benefits, we must also be a good example for our kids. According to a report by Quartz, a business news organization, parents should come up with different ways to deal with the new challenges ahead of them. They must learn how to navigate the responsibility of modern parenting. They should learn how to understand their child’s privacy and rights when it comes to internet usage.