Does Today’s Parenting Responsibilities Include Keeping Up With New Technology?

I belong to the Dad’s Club at my children’s school as well as participate in a wonderful organization called All Pro Dad. As part of being an All Pro Dad, I subscribe to their email newsletter and always look forward to the great parenting advice they give me.

One email newsletter in particular, sent this week, really caught my eye. Here’s an excerpt from that email:

In order to effectively parent your children, you need to keep up on the latest technology. If you haven’t learned the art of text messaging on your cell phone – start. It’s a great way to encourage your children and helps you keep tabs on what they’re doing.

Also, if your child has an online profile on a social networking site, such as Facebook, sign up to get one yourself and get added as a friend. It’s a great way to stay connected. As technology grows, grow with it and embrace it as a way to further your relationship with your children.

I’ve always learned technology because I wanted to and because I’m fascinated by it. But I never really stopped to think how important it might be to learn this technology to stay in tune with what my children are doing. As the father of two growing boys, it won’t be long before my children become swallowed up by emerging technologies. And if I don’t keep up with these new technologies myself, I could easily risk losing touch with my children.

What do you think? Is keeping up with new technology part of being a good parent? Leave a comment below and let me know.

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7 Comments

  1. Michelle Morris

    I absolutely think it is vital to understand the technology that your kids are into. If I ever had any doubt, I learned this from my in-laws. My borther-in-law is quite a bit younger than my husband and I, and it was astounding to me that my in-laws had no idea who he was talking to online or what he was doing. They even said several times, “I just don’t understand the internet”. Wow, I knew right then that I had to know in order to be sure my boys were safe and not getting into things they shouldn’t. .

    I also believe that the computer needs to be in a public part of the house, NOT in their bedroom where they can close the door and do whatever they want. I need to be able to monitor them without literally just sitting by their side and watching over them like a hawk.

  2. Patric Welch

    @Michelle I totally agree about the computer being in a public part of the house. That’s how we do it with our kids.

  3. Brian

    In my opinion having the computer as a public part of the house will only help you monitor computer usage, but lets be honest, technology is a personal asset, and it is becoming more personal, our computer is in our living room, but all it is used for is watching media, while most of my personal online interaction is done on phone while at home, with some laptop time later. I think the most important thing is to help the child understand what the technology is, and guide them into and help shepard them, which, to your point, is why we have to stay up on everything.

    Of course, what if technology isn’t the thing that our kids get into that we don’t understand :)

  4. ExtraordinaryMommy

    I do think keeping up with technology is an important part of parenting.  Not only will it allow me to ‘be involved’ – whether it is texting, or making myself a part of their social network, I think it is crucial that I have a part, an important part, in what they are doing.  Not to mention, I think, as my children get older, I will need additional ways to ‘reach out’ to them….and being interested in what interests them can only help, right?

  5. Patric Welch

    @Brian Good point. Even with a public computer in the house at some point our kids are going to get their own technology like cell phones and start text messaging in private. Better to start teaching them the proper use of technology now.

  6. Patric Welch

    @ExtraordinaryMommy I totally agree and I think that was the point of the article I referred to. If we don’t embrace the technology our kids use, we will soon be left out. Thanks for commenting!