Why Is Unplugged Parenting Important?
2018 Oct 24 | by janndel
In this digital age, where anyone from anywhere can be connected at any given time, being unplugged can be unthinkable. We have been so dependent on our phones for so many things, from dictating our daily tasks to hosting our connections and conversations, and generally for getting our lives in order. To be unplugged is simply not an option. However, on the contrary, it is actually very important that we see the significance of unplugging in this day and age.
Technology has changed everything, even in parenting. When parents are with their kids, they are either using their phones to capture every little thing the kids are doing, or they’re scrolling through Instagram to distract themselves from every little thing the kids are doing. It has been an unending cycle of misplaced information, which affects the behavior and attention span of everyone.
A recent study by the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics addressed this problem:
“We found that parents are struggling to balance family time and the desire to be present at home with technology-based expectations like responding to work and other demands,” says Jenny Radesky M.D., a child behavioral expert.
Still there is no doubt technology is doing a lot for us. Mobile apps have made it possible to do banking, shopping, and scheduling from essentially anywhere. Laptops have helped with a more flexible working environment. Technology has blurred the boundary between work and family life; however, these are not just the aspects of our lives that matter.
Hence, there are ways in order to initiate unplugged parenting in your household:
For one, you can set your boundaries. Just because everyone can be on their laptop for hours at home, doesn’t mean they should. It’s a parent’s responsibility to set a schedule. Another way is to track usage. Most parents are surprised to learn the number of hours they’re on their devices. Additionally, learning distractions and acknowledging them like checking emails unnecessarily, etc. can be immensely helpful.
Other ways to initiate unplugged parenting include making children realise that if they don’t know someone in real life then they are still a stranger, even if they have talked to them online. Sometimes, we forget that virtual friends are not real friends.
There’s also what we call online grooming. Grooming is a process during which someone prepares a child for sexual abuse. Parents need to communicate the idea of stranger danger into the online world and talk to their children about grooming in an age appropriate way. Children often see social media as a popularity contest and think the more friends or followers they have the better. This poses an immense risk when they expose their personal information online.
Unplugged parenting helps keep children safe, and in times when it’s easy to send threatening or abusive text messages, create and share embarrassing images, troll, exclude people from online games or friendship groups, set up hate sites, and encourage young people to self-harm, unplugged parenting may just be the answer parents are looking for.
Overall, remember that the kids’ formative years are very important, and it’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure they live a happy home life in a safe place like Pueblo de Oro.