How does technology affect parenting?
Parents are just as likely as children to spend too much time in front of screens. Parents need to evaluate how technology affects their abilities to parent.
Clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair details the risks to children from infancy to young adulthood from the adverse effects of technology in her book, “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age.” According to Steiner-Adair, children from 8 to 18 spend more than seven hours daily using electronic devices. She argues digital devices are changing how children think and how parents parent. The job of parents is to keep their children grounded in reality and prepare them for independence and autonomy.
Steiner-Adair summarizes her advice to parents — that good parenting starts without technology. Parents should start with listening, setting limits and modeling communication face-to-face. She strongly recommends the house rules include the requirement to know the children’s phone passwords and for them to check digital gadgets as needed. Steiner-Adair’s final words to parents and children are to slow down.