Does technology make parenting harder? This is a question I struggle with every day. But when I really stop and think about it, I have to say, “Yes! Technology does make parenting harder.” Some may say it makes it easier too, but that’ s a topic for another day.
The Huffington Post came out with this article today about “How Technology Has Made Parenting Harder.” Hold on, don’t go read it yet, let’s talk about some ways that this typical every day parent thinks technology makes parenting harder.
The dangers of technology
Spams, cyber bullying, inappropriate content, stranger danger and viruses just to name a few of the dangers I worry about every time the kids get on the computer, smartphone or iPad. One day I was letting the 6 year old watch what I thought was a “My Little Pony” video, and well it was and it wasn’t! Good thing I was sitting right there to change the “channel” fast. They want to video everything they do and share it with the world. While I am thrilled at their creativity and self-confidence, I feel like I’m stifling them when I look into their pouty faces and say, “No baby sorry you can’t post that on YouTube.” Which leads me to the next way that technology has made my job as a parent harder.
But everyone else does it!
The video is made and the children are ready to post it. “No girls you can’t post that on mom’s work account.” “Okay we will make our own! ” Which is followed by the discussion that you are too young to make your own according to (insert social media tool here ) rules. “But other kids do it! My friends all have accounts!” Followed by more pouty faces, flounces and bounces to their room. However, in a few years I’m sure that flounce and bounce will be followed by a text message, status update, tweet – or whatever it may be called in about 3 years – that “My mom is so mean!” or a similar type comment. Which leads to the next way that technology makes parenting harder.
Gripes, moans, complaints, half -truths and untruths (lies)
Now, I admit, I’m a “mean mommy” quite frequently, if that’s what it takes to get the job done. But do children really need one more place to complain about how horrible their life is since mom (or dad) made them do their homework or grounded them from this weekend’s fun? But that’s just the sugar in the cupcake of all this bit$#ing and moaning. Next is how mean their teachers are. How they hate the kid next door. It graduates to making fun of someone because they are different And, it snowballs from there into lies, cyber bulling and fighting online and off.
How else does technology make parenting harder? Oh let me count the ways . . .
- Fighting to get homework and chores done.
- Text talk instead of an actual conversation.
- Headphones so they don’t even hear me when it is a real conversation.
- Less exercise.
- Demands for bigger and better technology/toys and honestly one of the kids sounds like a walking, talking commercial as she shares with me all the reasons I need to buy her X and X.
Now sure there are lots of advantages to technology too. But we aren’t talking about those yet. Maybe next week.
But I know for sure, that technology does make parenting harder for me. I have a 25 year old and a 6 year old. There is a huge difference in how I have to parent now and how I parenting then.
What does all this mean? It means I have to be a better parent. I have to be more aware and I have to “step up my game.” But hey if the kids can figure out my iPad I should be able to figure out how to be a better parent right?
What about technology makes parenting harder for you?