Is Technology Changing The Way We Need To Parent?

I’m feeling old….when I first started seeing clients I did not have a cell phone, social media didn’t exist, life was different!  Over the last 15 years technology has evolved so rapidly the teens I work with are the only way I keep up.  I have seen so many changes in kids, teens, and families with the rapid changes in computers, phones, tablets, and social media.  For example, when I was growing up my parents answered our landline phone when my friends called.  They knew who was calling me and who I was talking with.  It has been pointed out to me that because of the way the phone has evolved teens can talk with anyone and nobody ever knows…it has been said that the phone is like having your own personal world.

I’m not bagging on technology, but it definitely has changed the way the younger generation interacts.  They text their friends, the person they are dating and often do not have as many conversations.   There is a sense of being broadly connected to many, but not intimately connected to anyone. This all begs the question:  “Is technology changing the way we need to parent?”  I think the answer is “No”.

Kids still need the same love, support, and boundaries that they have always needed.  The difference is that now parents need to be aware and involved in their online lives as well.  The need for connection is stronger than ever and when kids see their parents on technology and not interacting with them that is what they will do.  Developing a strong connection with your child and age appropriate social media boundaries and monitoring are a must.  As I experience it in my practice, technology has increased the ability for us to be more broadly connected, but less intimately connected.   We need that intimate connection so it is important that as a parent, you assist your child in developing personal deep connections with yourself and with others who are a positive part of your child’s life.  As the saying goes, nobody really has 1,000 friends.

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