So, now we look for an answer. I have tried to determine that technology and new media is here to stay. Our dependency and expectations of new media in assisting with everyday life, is set to expand on a yearly basis. With each generation, technological dependency will become almost unimaginable to us oldies and I feel sure that at some point, we will be left behind. So, whilst we still can, lets try and keep an eclectic mix of both the tradition and the contemporary in family life !
As parents, we feel that we should determine what’s best for our kids, i.e; how much sugar they eat, what time they should be in bed, what is the best school for them to attend etc etc. But with technology, it’s a little different. How can we control their use of media platforms if they are part of the curriculum for example? What control do we really have over our desire for them to be in the fresh air climbing trees, as oppose to sat on Facebook all afternoon ? Well, all this is dependent on two things:
- The age of the child
- How you want family life to be.
I cannot for one minute, imagine any parent being able to control the media usage of ANY teenager. They are too big, too vocal and quite frankly….its not worth the hassle. So, as a parent you have to get used to the fact, that children under the age of thirteen are pretty easy to set rules with. You still have rights as a parent, it is your house and if you want to limit media use-it is your choice. If you desire that your family sit down for dinner together each evening with absolutely NO technology present, then do it! Control technological use when you can.
Teenagers, have to learn self-control. It takes time and years of development, for them to understand and work out their own limits-be patient. Academics and theorists now understand that our reliance on technology is fluid, we desire different platforms and different time-periods at each time in our life. As a three-year old is more inclined to play with a box and source their imagination, a thirteen year-old may be glued to their games console for hours. As we mature, our demand on technology changes, often to one of purpose. i.e emailing colleagues,contacting family etc and our personality denotes the amount of time and interaction we wish to have with technology.
This is your family, your life and your time, but here is the important bit….. we cannot stop our children and society evolving. The demand for the population to be technologically capable is growing, we just have to find a way of combining the traditional role of parenting, with that of promoting our children’s life chances in a media saturated world.
Follow my lead. Yes, I use technology every day, I use it for study, emailing, social networking and information. I also turn it off and spend time with my husband on his day off, I make sure we eat together as a family every night (technology free!) and occasionally, we have a board game night-yes even the teenagers! However, I also encourage my sons in their use of technology, show an interest in the latest media, learn the speak of the internet (#, LOL, BAE etc etc) and generally attempt to edge myself through the twenty-first century unscathed. I control my media usage and hope I am setting an example as a parent, for my kids to follow suit. And lets face it- no damn robot can do that.
Please feel free to copy and paste further visual information available from you tube:
Parents and technology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTGkgrZdPfs
Technology and child development: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSmE1YPhtA8
Future technology, can we have it all? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VxOMkBu-Zs
Technological determinism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4goe63nlUc
- https://pixabay.com/en/boy-adult-relationship-girl-son-990325/. Thanks to Reog for the image. CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.
- https://pixabay.com/en/game-keyboard-computer-technology-750845/. Thanks to: Evanlee for the image. CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.
- https://pixabay.com/en/robot-toy-grey-first-plane-916284/. Thanks to: Ergoneon for the image. CC0 Public Domain. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.