Over time, as the course of evolution continues to take place, day to day activities of we humans continue to change and evolve. The way and manner in which children and wards are being educated and brought up, their relationship and rapport with their parents or guardian, has all immensely changed especially as we have stepped into the digital age. The digital age which embodies the inventions of AIs, technologies like smartphones, laptops, etc., and other forms of scientific advancements have contributed in one way or another to the strengthening or weakening of parent-child relationships.
Children are an integral part of any family and the sole aim or purpose of parenthood or parenting. Couples who have a child or children, aim to provide the best form of life and comfort for their child. They also try to ensure they build a good relationship that would positively affect the child’s upbringing.
The problem of bad parenting has lingered since the beginning of time, with both external and internal influences from the environment affecting Parent-child relationships. In the past, parents were more concerned with friends, peer groups, and the immediate surrounding, as the factors that could influence their child, which might create an adverse effect on the bond and relationship between them and their children. In present times with the coming of digitalization, the factors which could influence a parent-child relationship have also increased. Being born into a world of unrestricted and unlimited access to technology has greatly affected children in all aspects of their lives.
Parent-child relationship in the digital age
It is an undeniable fact that the digital age has forged new mindsets, motives, aspirations, and personalities in both the older and younger generation. It has made teaching and education easier and made work and labor less stressful and faster, but the question of digitalization making parenting more convenient is still yet to be answered.
There are benefits to which technologies have positively influenced parent-child relationships and there are also the negative aspects of it. Below are some of the effects of digitalization on parent-child relationships.
1. Technologies like smartphones, have made parents more relaxed about their child’s whereabouts, knowing with these gadgets they could call, message, and even track their Child’s location if need be. It has also created lasting relationships even in cases of long distances.
2. Cameras, videos, and pictures especially those containing family members, have gone a long way in strengthening family bonds.
3. With the help of Televisions and properly censored media content, children and parents are exposed to exciting, educating media. Thereby gradually unconsciously creating a positive mindset within them.
4. Smart gadgets have greatly impacted positively in the lives of children by creating easy access to unlimited educational articles and data the Internet has to offer, thereby developing their IQ.
1. With technologies like gaming computers etc. more and more parent-child relationships are severed, especially when kids devote more time to their games.
2. The negative influence of social media and other online platforms on kids and young adults, especially on issues of nudity, pornography, fame, and popularity, adds to the problems parents are facing with raising their children in more responsible ways.
3. Unrestricted access to the Internet also means, children have access to an unlimited supply of data that could influence them negatively, a major challenge of parenting in the digital age.
4. In this digital age, some parents are more concerned with buying gifts and presents for their children as a way of expressing their love and concern, rather than doing the needful. Things like father-son bonding, mother-daughter bonding, going on trips together and teaching their children the importance of dignity, respect, responsibility, and hard work, are slowly fading.
Being a parent or a child in a world of technology entails one needs to get up to speed on the requirements for maintaining a good relationship with a loved one, irrespective of external influences. Most parents are going through difficult times in raising their children, with the surge of unrestricted information hovering on the web, easily accessed with only a click of a button. In some parts of the developed world, children and young adults are addicted to their phones, gaming computers, and avatars of some of these computer games. They sometimes lose focus and reason, unable to separate the world of fiction and game from the real world.
Emmanuel Ikenna Orindu.