Two teenage boys are throwing vulgar tantrums at one another. Just beside them, a 12-year old girl is seated on a bench. Her eyes firmly fixed on the mobile phone. She is excited about playing video games. Their parents are busy replying to emails on their laptops and striking new business deals via skype. This is not life in some fiction movies premiered at the Oscar awards- it’s a reality happening in families across the country.
Do we Still Value Children and Family Units?
The dynamics of parenting have gradually yet wholly changed. Today, a matter as grave as childbearing has become a voluntary process. Unlike before, when it was a default activity, the modern-day parents view childbearing as a burden and something that should be avoided at all costs. At least, not all parents have taken this route.
But even for a good number who have decided to have children, they too are still conservative on the number of kids that should be running down those expansive bungalows they work so hard to build. I wonder for who and what purpose if they scorn at childbearing.
Communication within the Family
Let us be honest. Technology has and continues to disrupt the standard way of doing things. It is rapidly evolving and as a result, occasioning numerous changes and behaviors. However, if there is one area that has experienced a massive effect of technology than any other area, then it is the family unit.
It is hard not to notice these changes within any family setting. Parents are now abandoning their roles and children equally finding the technology to fill this gap. A new study by the Proceedings of the New York State Communication Association suggests that technology can be a hindrance to interpersonal relationships. Instead of taking time to meet friends and family members, many people nowadays prefer calling and chatting. The bonds created by real conversations are no more.
The study further reveals most children cannot express themselves because much of their time is spent on video games and social networks. They are out of touch with the ideal world. The use of these gadgets has severely damaged communication within the family units. It is even made worse by absentee parents who seldom initiate conversations with their kids.
Are Parents Abdicating on their Authoritative Roles?
We all want to look smart and tough in front of our kids. It is usual for any parent to have little knowledge of something but will insist on knowing it. I mean, who would want to appear dumb before their six-year-old kid? If that happens, then somehow, a little ego is deflated off your tires.
However, the truth is, with the fast-changing technological trends, most parents are finding it hard to grasp and apprehend the use of modern technology. So what happens in this case? Parents sometimes are never willing to assert their authority on the use of these gadgets. Of course, they do not want to appear naïve and out of touch. The kids exploit this opportunity to disrespect their parents because of their lack of knowledge of these technological matters.
It is a delicate balance. Parents do not want to assert their authority on things they do not know much about. Children, on the other hand, do not just understand why their parents can’t master these tech-savvy trends. However, I believe that “would you rather questions for kids” would be one way to take time off from the technological world and engage your kids in a face to face conversation.
Technology is Providing Kids with some unwarranted Independence
Before the emergence of computers and phones, kids had to use the home phone to communicate with their friends. And even that was done with strict supervision from parents. That is not true today. There are mobile phones and laptops everywhere. These kids can reach real and imaginary friends just at the tap of a button.
Technology has thus offered children independence from their parents’ involvement in their lives. That in itself is quite dangerous. It kills communication and exposes kids to malicious people.
My Key Takeaways
We’re not going to run away from technology. It will be here for longer than we can imagine. What parents need to do is return to the basics of parenting. Own up your role as a parent and in some way, integrate the technology in raising your children.