How can we do it right?
Every single day has its element of surprise spread across in pockets of twenty-four hours. Some days feel longer, and some others a breeze. As an individual, when one looks back, it may be an easy exercise to categorize emotions and assign them to particular days. The only exception however to this exercise, have been parents, for even after categorical, methodical and ridiculous amounts of effort, emotions, and selflessness invested through a minimum of two decades - in the end, they would only end up with - "Never knew how time flew. I thought my kid(s) would never grow up."
To raise a child in a fast moving generation like ours - is as easy as it’s challenging. The limitless availability of resources and the want of every parent to tap into it for the betterment of their child’s growth could go two ways - one, where the resulting horizons of expansion for the child grow exponentially if done right and two, where the limited resourcefulness of the child and the ignorance of parents might stunt the intended growth tragically. As we speak of the limitlessness of resources available for a healthy upbringing, it is but reflexive to point in the direction of technology as the primary gateway, in the world of now.
Let’s look at how and where all technology is present in a child’s day to day - pertinent to both the parent and child’s perspectives.
A child with access to technologically equipped schooling and gadgets for entertainment after a day at school spends a minimum of 2 hours with various forms of the gizmo world through the day - the maximum being anywhere between 24 hours to ‘Parents wanting to disown their children’ hour. However, that is voluntary participation from the child’s side. With no particular fault of their fascination towards this tempting dive into the abysmal oceanic expanse of resources, they are often wrongly accused of misusing the technology. What one forgets to do here before making any accusations - is the need to take a moment and reflect. If:
- technology offers ONLY the bad and demands the child/user to take it, at gunpoint?
- gadgets are tied to the children and they beg themselves to be utilized?
- The internet, the devices and other forms of technology lack the scope of monitoring or the willingness to release their clutches when the owner decides to unplug?
No, no and no.
Considering we have agreed on that, it is now the time to establish where the responsibility lies, when the lines need to be drawn (keeping in mind the inescapable blurred ones), how parenting is the requisite dimensional incorporation of discipline into the aspect of freedom, when technology can be used to transform the experience of parenting from a limiting one to that of one constantly growing and how it can be done right.
It comes with age, yes; but age starts from zero. The idea of responsibility and the exemplification of it - in words, actions and deeds begins with the parents and bringing up the child in the constant shadow of it. To give children the access to technology is almost unavoidable these days, if not necessary. However, the many reckless, faultless and impromptu urges of young minds need to be tamed, because ‘wild’ only sounds good in forests and poetry. Let your child be exposed to the realm of technology, however, limit the dependency on it by essentially not limiting the experience.
Drawing a line
As much as there is the want to know more and the easy availability to do so, as a parent, one should know the appropriate age for their kid to be given the access. However, where to draw the line has always been seemingly the most difficult of questions. It is not that difficult really. Every parent should themselves be sufficiently equipped with the ways to restrict the availability of unnecessary information - the option of which actually comes embedded in the application itself. By doing so, you let the child know what he needs to know and at the same time, you are also protecting him from distractive curiosity.
Being smarter each day
Parents must rely on technological solutions to keep a check on their child’s day to day activities - without essentially meaning to be an overtly moralistic police. It can range from tracking their child’s attendance at school to scanning through the browsing history (more to form patterns on what runs on the child’s mind, and less to judge them). Although books are timeless and one should keep them close, the use of digital space in making learning a fruitful process not only helps enhance the chance of learning more in a short span of time, it also helps retain better. For, we all know, there’s so much to learn and so less time!
One can go on and on, on the benefits, possibilities, and ways to utilize a tool in making any process a better one. But the benefits of technology should be emphasized, especially in parenting as they both are akin to the trait of boundlessness (the former - a repertoire of everything and the latter that of the quintessential epitome of love). That said, the delicate process of parenting (by the parent) and the turbulent process of growing up (for the child) can be made much smoother a journey with the use of technology. We just need to know when and how much to tap into its potential, to expand our own.