Parenting today is very different from when our parents were parenting us. Today, your kids are part of the “text generation.” We grew up talking to our friends. Your kids are growing up texting with their friends. Or worse, they’re communicating over Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook.
Regardless, the parenting landscape has changed, and this can feel overwhelming.
I recently interviewed psychologist and technology expert Dr. Josh Straub for my Parenting Great Kids podcast. In his research, he’s discovered that technology is making our kids less empathetic, more shallow, and it’s shortening their attention spans. He elaborated on some of his findings in a fascinating blog post, Why Mister Rogers Is Smarter Than Baby Einstein.
And it’s not just the older kids at risk. Recent studies have revealed that kids younger than 5 spend an average of 40% of their waking hours each day in front of a screen. 40%! If not monitored correctly, social media and electronics could have a lasting, devastating effect on your kid.
I don’t say this to scare you. I say this to warn you and wake you up to a potential problem. Parents shouldn’t fear technology, we simply need to know what our kids are up against and how to respond.
Really, I think there’s hope for the text generation, and that hope is you. You have the power to successfully navigate your family through the complexities and uncertainties of technology.