Parenting Challenges In The Digital Age


Parenting Challenges In The Digital Age

Parenting challenges

If parenting, at all ages, had been a roller coaster ride, now it has become a tight rope walk due to the fast-paced world of technological advancement.

Apart from the age old parenting challenges of protecting the child from dangerous people and situations, now the parents have a new challenge in dealing with cyber bullying, excessive screen time (TV Computer and mobile phones), exposure of the children to multiple types of screens and apps etc.

They are also worried about   protecting the children from harmful radiations from the gadgets they use.

Like the Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution marked a complete sift in our society. This alters many aspects of our lives.

Our society is now so defined by computers, smart phones , internet that hardly anyone can think of a world without these . This signals a new era with new needs and possibilities.

The digital revolution links individuals and groups together, no matter which part of the globe they are in.  It is a catalyst for sharing ideas and thus revolutionized the whole system of education as well.

Similarly we now have a world of online opportunity. Startup companies can begin in a bedroom with a single laptop! Digital revolution forces competitiveness on a global scale.

The Flipside Of Digital Revolution

Like the discovery and  the use of fire, we need to handle the technology we use, carefully.

The unprecedented “Digital Revolution” is mostly driven by an addiction to convenience, speed, and instant gratification that could be compromising child development.

Children are exposed to a number of distractions like excessive texting, digital games, social media, and internet use continuously, compromising with the time of free play, sleep, and   essential social interactions.

Digital technology promotes multi-tasking and very rapid information processing.

This weakens the brain’s ability to screen out distractions, to read with comprehension, and to contemplate. There is an “information overload” affecting the users. Most algorithms (apps and games) are designed to promote consumerism by appealing to the pleasure centers of the brain.

Media Guru Marshall Mc Luhan had predicted long time back:

“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”

The digital age child is thus susceptible to internet and game addiction, and are found in a constant state of anxiety labeled “reward anticipation”.

Recognizing that the screen can be addictive, American Psychiatric Association (APA) added Internet Use Disorder (IUG) and Internet Gaming disorder (IGU) in the further study section of DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders).

In some jurisdictions health regulations recommended a child under 2 years of age to receive no screen time (including TV) and under 5 years to be exposed to less than 1 hour.

According to WHO, children less than 1 year should not be exposed to any screen time at all.

However, one of the first things that needs to be acknowledged is that technology is here to stay and of course will continue to develop over the coming years.

Therefore, it is a good idea to have a strategy in relation to managing the use of technology and time spent online. It may be a relatively new concept, but more and more parents are going to need to add a digital element to their parenting style.

Read Top Reasons: How Parenting Makes You a Responsible Person

Cyber Bullying

Parenting Challenges In The Digital Age

Although bullying is not a new phenomenon, the internet has drastically changed the landscape of how schools, parents, and children must respond.

Previously, even a child who was dealing with severe bullying could at least escape into the safety of their home. Now, however, bullies can follow children into their safest spaces thanks to the internet connected devices that go everywhere with them.

Telling children to ignore a bully doesn’t necessarily work either – even if the devices are turned off, bullies can use the internet to spread hurtful messages or images that have a much wider reach than any note passed in class.

Be aware of your child’s school’s policy on cyber bullying, and stay alert for the signs that your child is being bullied.

The sooner the issue can be identified and addressed, the better chance you have of stopping it before it gets out of hand. It’s important to also be aware of your own child’s actions online.

Many children are both victims of and participating in cyber bullying themselves. Helping your child practice appropriate behavior online can prevent them from becoming a target.

Teach your child “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is a golden rule online.

Screen Time

How much screen time is too much?

It’s a complex question. Too much screen time may damage the brain, inhibit the ability to recognize emotions, and affect child development.

Simply banning internet-connected devices until a child reaches their teen or adult years is becoming less and less realistic. Computers, tablets, and smartphones have real value as educational tools as well as entertainment devices.

Also, digital communication is the new normal, and eschewing that entirely sets your child up for social isolation and fails to prepare them for adult life.

Balance is the key to managing screen time.

Children need firm limits on when and how much they can use their devices. Establishing these limits now will help them learn to set limits for themselves later in life.

They also need encouragement to participate in offline, non-screen based activities

Use the downtime to look at some things together online – if you’re on a ski vacation, how about checking out the history of skiing?

Introducing the use of internet through an “internet class’’ in schools would be a good idea to follow.

Teach Your Child The Internet Safety Rules

Teach your child how to stay safe on social media and in apps.

They should know how to hide their personal information and how to report and block any inappropriate communications they receive in a given online environment.

Digital  Parenting Skills

Modern parents need to encompass some new sets of skills in their parenting style.

1. Communication

Parent Zone  suggests the WWW approach to communicating with your child.


  • Who is your child talking to online (classmates, friends in town/abroad, strangers)?
  • What is your child doing online?
  • Where are they going online (a type of websites, platforms, etc.)?
  • When is your child going online (with the sitter, grandparents, late at night, etc.)?

2. Active Mediation In Communication

Active mediation essentially means ensuring that your child knows it is ok to come to you to talk about what they are experiencing online, without fear that they will be punished.

Active mediation is particularly important when it comes to the use of the internet because children and indeed teens can encounter situations such as witnessing a cyber bullying incident while online, or come across a porn site at an inappropriate age and will need to feel secure in being able to discuss this with you without fear of sanction.

3. Critical Thinking

Put the thinking caps on and decide whether your family needs that new device, game, app, robot or what have you. Once you say yes, think of ways to use the technology or device safely and responsibly.

Then think of ways to maximize your privacy and data protection settings.

Rinse, repeat. Talk to your child about the pros and cons of using a device before you hand him/her a device, say  for example a smart phone.

Do not assume that he /she knows the perfect use of it.

4. Avoid Confiscating Devices

Parents can often confiscate or ban the use of digital devices as a form of punishment.

This is rarely, if ever, effective and in some cases can lead to children using digital devices in other people’s homes or borrowing smartphones from friends to access the internet.

It is human nature that if something is banned, it becomes more intriguing!

5. Confidence

Digital parents – have confidence that you really can do this!

Even if you start to panic thinking about all the fan culture of the Forties (those darn dances) or the latest YouTube, think that perhaps our parents and grandparents felt the same way when faced with Madonna in the ’80s or The Beatles in the ’60s. We shall learn to handle this as well without anxiety or confusion.

6. Continued Conversation

Once you have begun to have those conversations with your children and young people, do keep them up .

Use that downtime in the car, while cleaning up, prepping for dinner or just talking a walk – to continue the conversations about their online world. Talk early and talk Often.

Read Stop Screaming At Your Child

7. Encourage and promote a healthy online/offline balance

Ultimately children learn through observation.

If you want your child to have a healthy relationship with the digital world then you will need to be a good role model.

For example, where screen time is concerned, if you are constantly on a digital device or regularly on screens late at night then it is highly likely that your child will see this as normal and model this behavior.

In a broader sense make sure to regularly engage in family activities that do not include digital devices. Remind your child of the importance of communicating face to face with friends and relatives as opposed to doing so online.

8. Digital Detox

This is just shutting down turning off or stepping away from technology, periodically. It gives our mind and body the much needed break to recover from the effects overindulgence.

You can declare a “Detox day” for the family and follow through. The benefits might surprise you.

9. Community

When parents have concerns, they may sometimes turn to family members other parents, or professionals (child psychologists/teachers, etc.)  to resolve the issue.

A community of parents and caregivers with years of experience and common sense can be a valuable source.

In today’s world, the community can be found online as well. There are several Facebook groups dedicated to technology and digital parenting.

Read 12 Signs of Bad Parenting! Are You One of Them?

Join one or all and check out the conversations to find a community that resonates with you.

With all the right resources parents shall be ready to raise the next generation of resilient, responsible and digitally aware children, making the future of “digital revolution” bright.

Parenting Challenges In The Digital Age
parenting challenges
  • Workplace Bullying: How To Deal With Bullies At Work
  • Lack Of Individuation: From Codependent Chameleon To True Self
  • The Rise in Armchair Psychologists on Social Media
  • 30+ Inspiring Quotes About Forgiveness To Let Go Of The Painful Past
Up Next

Emotionally Immature Parents: 7 Signs You Were Raised By One

Signs Raised By Emotionally Immature Parents

Parents are the guiding force in their children's lives and children grow up emulating and idolizing their parents. For every child, their parents are the people to look to when it comes to understanding how life is and what it means to be a healthy and good person. However, this doesn't hold true for emotionally immature parents.

Emotionally immature parents are controlling, narrow-minded, unreliable, and demanding. They tend to shame and guilt their kids into doing what they want them to do and have zero consideration about what their kids might want. Your emotional needs were never met by your parents, and even as a child, you felt lonely and depressed. You could never have a healthy, normal, and happy relationship with them, and all you craved was love and some parental affection.

Adult children of emotionally immature people never knew what

Up Next

10 Frustrating Things Childfree People Hear All the Time

Frustrating Things Childfree People Hear

Childfree people are often shamed for their choice of not wanting children, be it by their close ones or even strangers. There are so many offensive, insensitive, and frustrating things people say to childfree couples, just because they can't fathom living a life without having children. Just like for some people, having children is the way to living a happy life, similarly, for some people, a childfree life is the way to go.

Key Points:

  • Adults who are childfree by choice often face societal pressures for this decision from those in their social circle.
  • Recent generations struggle to overcome gendered expectations surrounding child-bearing.
  • While many statements are said with good intentions, they continue to perpetuate a message in our society about expectations.

Up Next

Children Of Narcissistic Parents: The Challenge of ‘Reparenting’ Yourself

Children Of Narcissistic Parents

Children of narcissistic parents always get the rough end of the deal; instead of having a safe and protected childhood, all they know are abuse, heartbreak, and manipulation. Parents are supposed to love their children, but children of NPD parents only get pain and trauma.

"If you were born into a narcissistic family, you may have grown up with a roof over your head, but sadly you weren’t raised. You must complete the job yourself. It’s called reparenting" ~ Glynis Sherwood

Related: 10 Things Toxic Parents Say And What They Actually Mean


Up Next

5 Reasons Parents Are Like Shamans

parent as shaman

Shamans are wounded healers who guide people that become lost while navigating through life and fulfill multiple functions, just like a parent. If you are a parent, then you must know about the shamanic approach for parents.

Parenting is one of the most rewarding roles we can have as human beings. As parents, our job is to raise, guide and protect our children, to heal them, and to prepare them to face the challenges of the world and experience the grandeur of the universe. And perhaps this is why, being a parent is often similar to being a shaman.

Parenting is a serious responsibility. If you are a parent, you already know the challenges and joys that come with this journey. As parents, we always give our best to ensure that our children are raised in the best way possible in the most fitting envi

Up Next

What Is Codependent Parental Neglect?

Codependent Parental Neglect

The aim of this article is to neither shame nor blame codependent parents who participate in their family's dysfunction but rather to provide codependency recovery-specific information as well as to open up a discourse on an otherwise taboo subject.

The codependent abnegation of responsibility to protect their children should never be reduced to a simple "good or bad" proposition. It is simply too complicated to cast a one-dimensional blame net. However, because we live in a society that holds adults responsible for their actions, it is vitally important to understand the consequences and losses that result from Codependent Parental Neglect, even if the person causing the harm is also the victim.

Even though the partner to the narcissist suffers grievous harm in their relationship, their codependency "problem" shou

What Would You Do In This Situation First? Your Answer Reveals Your Personality Traits What You Need To Change In Your Life, According To Your Zodiac Sign What A Man Looks For In A Woman Based On His Zodiac Sign How Each Zodiac Sign Acts When They Hate Someone Type A Personality Quiz: Do You See Tree, Roots Or Lips?