Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Creating Connections with Your Children with Technology

Do you find yourself always getting on your children for being on their phone or tablet too much? You might wish that you could just throw all the technology away. Maybe this is you or maybe it isn’t. However, you might consider this: while technology use can seem like an independent activity to many, it doesn’t have to be. Parents who use technology intentionally with their children often feel more connected with them. You probably use your cell phone to text and call your friends and family members all the time. This can be an effective method to connect with your child as well, especially if it tends to be one of your child’s preferred methods of communication. Use it to communicate things more often and see what happens. Single parents may also find this helpful so that they can check in with their child frequently while they work long hours away from home. Many parents frequently watch television and movies together. This time doesn’t have to be mindless viewing for parents or children. If you try to make the time a learning experience by discussing what you are watching together, you might find more things that you have in common and enjoy with your children. It can also be a good way to ensure that what your child is watching is age-appropriate for them. These same principles apply to other activities like video games. One study has shown that parents who coplay (play video games together) with their children tend to report feeling more connected as a family. So, in other words, don’t be afraid to interact with your children through technology! It can be a helpful tool if we intentionally use it rather than allowing it to control us. Intentionality is the goal here and the key to connection.

Reference: Padilla‐Walker, L. M., Coyne, S. M., & Fraser, A. M. (2012). Getting a high‐speed family connection: Associations between family media use and family connection. Family Relations, 61(3), 426-440.

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