Today, almost every individual is a citizen of the digital world. Let’s look at how parents can make the best use of technology to aid their parenting skills, and, in the process, become digital paren
By Dr Sheetal Bidkar
While technology has made our lives easier, parents are often found complaining that they are finding it increasingly difficult to handle children in the digital era. With almost everything, from education to entertainment to shopping, happening in the digital world, we are using the Internet and digital devices more and more. But, with the increasing use of digital technology, we have also started becoming aware of its adverse effects, especially on children.
Most children nowadays spend a good part of their time glued to smartphones and computers that are hooked to the Internet. As a result, a lot of children are developing the tendency to avoid these - eye contact while conversing, mindfulness while eating, and involvement with goings-on around them.
As a result of children’s attachment to the digital world, parents have begun to feel worried. They are concerned at not having much control over the information accessed by their children and how it is influencing them, the people they are engaging with on social media, and what they are being exposed to on the Internet. Most parents report feeling helpless, anxious and even frustrated by all these.
But, not all is lost. Parents can still turn the ship around by being innovative and using digital technology to aid them in their efforts, or, in other words, by becoming a Digital Parent. Let’s read on to know how.
Moms and dads need to learn new ways of parenting in today’s digital era. Parents can use digital technology to aid them in various ways – for example, giving instructions through apps like WhatsApp, or monitoring the child through a video call, or following the child on social media sites. Doing all these allows parents to be alongside their child in the digital world and shape his development through technology. Such parents can aptly be called digital parents and their parenting technique digital parenting.
With the use of technology on the increase, children are being exposed to technology both inside and outside the home. As a result, most children of the present generation are quite familiar and comfortable with using digital devices. However, the adeptness with which children use technology shouldn’t blind parents to the dangers lurking on the Internet. This is one of the compelling reasons why parents also need to familiarise themselves with technology and be aware of the goings-on in the digital world.
Technology is an inseparable part of our lives and we cannot avoid using the digital platforms; however, we need to protect our children from its unhealthy effects. Balanced and judicious use of technology is the key to protecting our children while allowing them to enjoy the experience.
Dr Sheetal Bidkar is a Clinical Psychologist & Addiction Therapist – Suasth One Step Clinic, Mumbai
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