In this digital era, a phone is more interesting than anything else. It can give you anything that you need. Be it to find an answer, reconnect with old friends or to booking transport to another location. However, is it really all that good? Do you find yourself neglecting those who are around you and also slowly losing more meaning conversation with your kids?
Studies have shown that it is also important to spend face-to-face time with your child, outside of screen time. Here comes the issue for most parents. Most parents assume that it is difficult to strike a conversation with their teens due to the increased use of technology. However, in the teens’ eyes, technology is also a factor as to why they don’t turn to their parents. The reason teens turn to technology so often is because they feel bored, stress and lonely. Hence, cyber wellness should be encouraged.
Here are some of the remarks made by the teens:
- “My parents are busy. They’re always distracted and running around.”
- “My mom’s on her phone a lot. Like all the time.”
- “I don’t want to bring up important stuff because as soon as I do, my mom gets a text or call. I don’t want to be halfway through a hard talk so I don’t start.”
So what are some ways we can try to resolve this?
Parents can be the first to lead by example. We can start by turning off our phones, putting them on silent/do not disturb mode and be fully present to our children. Letting them know that they are our priority. If our kids have the impression that technology is more important than them, we can start by seeking forgiveness. If they have made us feel discouraged, we can start by explaining and communicating with them. This will show that we care about this relationship and this will encourage them to trust us and communicate with us again.
Some steps are just getting your kids to talk about small matters first and they will slowly open up to you. Do not be discouraged if it does not work immediately, as this is an issue that will definitely take time. When we know the roles we’ve played in our teen’s world, for example, uninterested, tech-obsessed, busy or distracted parent. And the roles that we want to play, for example, passionate, tech-free, available and focused, we can change and connect in more meaningful ways with our teens.
You can also check out ZACHDEV – TECH PARENTING ebook to learn and understand more about this digital world and better help your kids in this era.
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