Proper parenting in a world connected by WiFi
A lot of kids today are absorbed in their gadgets, too absorbed that sometimes, adults can’t find time to be a proper parent to their kids. Worse, kids who bury themselves too deep into technology sometimes get angry when parents try to disconnect them from the virtual world.
So is using technology at a young age really a bad thing? Experts have different opinions about the topic, and all of them make sense.
“Parent-child interactions are definitely changing, and not in a good, healthy way,” said Dr. Victor Strasburger, a renowned professor of Pedriatrics Emeritus from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. His statement mirrors the fact that technology comes in the way of parent-child interaction because either the parent or child is too absorbed in tinkering with technology.
Others, however, are finding technology merely as tools. “It’s simply a medium,” said Nanea Hoffman, Founder of Sweatpants & Coffee. For parents who take time to monitor their children despite all the technology surrounding them, smartgadgets will be just a medium. Working parents will always be busy with their laptops at some point of the day but when their kids are there, they always have the option to look up for a few minutes and ask how their day was. It’s easy to blame the devices but the truth of the matter is smartphones don’t control a human’s mind.
Which brings the article to another expert opinion: “The question is, how is (technology) used and how often is it used?” said Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, the author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. Technology, with its cons, also has its pros, and that is connecting and strengthening the bond between parent and child. It’s a medium where both parties can connect through software like Skype. Without these, people would still rely on letters, which take days, even weeks, to arrive.
At the end of the day, what matters is how parents control the environment of their children. With or without technology, responsible parents would always find time to talk to their kids and be a responsible, attentive parent to them. Technology is there to enhance the learning process but it must never be allowed to let it control anyone. Being busy is fine, but marvel in the fact that you are able to freely teach your kids things and see them as they grow. In other countries, especially in places torn apart by war, parents can’t even see their kids normally, and would have to rely on charities that are actively trying to shield kids from disasters. Perhaps the best answer belongs to Dr. Adair when she said it depends on how technology is used. After all, a ruler, which is used for measuring, can also hurt others. Using technology as part of a kid’s upbringing is great but without proper monitoring by a parent, it can also be disastrous.
Diclosure: This is a collaborative post.