Modern parenting looks a lot different than it did when we were kids. We have social media, smartphones that are just hand-held computers, and so much more that connect and disconnect our kids from the world around us. It can be challenging to navigate.
Modern Parenting Pitfalls
I remember when I was a kid, the most significant things I had to worry about were getting home before dark and navigating things like if a certain boy liked me, if my clothes were halfway stylish, or what homework I had to turn in next.
These days, however, social media has turned the teen years into a virtual minefield filled with everything from cyberbullying to inaccurate, unrealistic body image expectations, and other incredibly unhealthy messages and images for our teens. Of course, the teen years are full of angst, as we all know, but between social media, texting, and online chat services, it’s even more exaggerated than ever before.
Effects of Social Media and Modern Tech
While social media and technology offer a lot of benefits like easy access to information research, staying connected with family and friends, news, and other timely information, it also comes with a ton of possible negatives, as well.
The good is great, but the bad is incredibly concerning. The connectivity of social media is definitely a double-edged sword that can open kids up to:
- Compromising Privacy and Safety
- Reputation Risks
- Mental Health Effects
- Inappropriate Content
- Inaccurate Body Image
- Time Drain
While kids can and do get more solid information online and from apps, they’re also inundated with all the negativity that comes with all of those platforms. It’s important for us to keep an eye our kids and their internet and app usage to ensure we keep them protected as much as possible.
How to Approach Modern Parenting
The key to modern parenting is remembering that you’re not alone. ALL the moms and dads are out there worrying about everything just like you are. While you’re trying to protect your kids from the negatives of technology, use the positives of it to your advantage.
- Talk to your kids about online safety and the inaccurate information that can be found online.
- Use apps to monitor your children’s screen time across all devices.
- Periodically check the content and messages on your child’s social media.
- Find other teen parents, either locally or online, to share tips or simply vent.
You Can Do It!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about my experiences with modern parenting and tips on how to keep your teens safe and your life flowing smoothly, but in the meantime remember this: you can do it. It’s a brave new world out there, but we parents can face it all.