Dec 232012
Parents welcome techno toys, Arvind Balaraman/

Parents lose the opportunity to interact with their children with modern technology. Arvind Balaraman/

Parents are so busy trying to be the ‘perfect parent,’ that they are unaware technology is taking over their children.

Where is the common sense in parents? More and more parents are flip-flopping from over-parenting to lazy-parenting, not even realizing it. Where’s the middle ground?

It appears many parents are raising their kids without consistent parental involvement. Then expect these children to miraculously fit in today’s society.

Subsequently, when their children don’t fit in by lacking the necessary social skills, the parents either blame the kids or blame society for not ‘fixing’ their kids.

Make no mistake; unlike popular belief, involved parenting is not just showing up at a school function or staying at home with the kids. Nor is it buying the latest technology toy to keep them busy and out of your hair.

It is active listening and sharing ideas with your children. It is structuring an environment conducive for an optimal emotional attachment with your children.

It is guiding them to fit into our culture without compromising the familial values. Also, teaching them to be emotionally-conscious individuals in society.

It is ‘being’ with your child, actually communicating with your child.

Parenting: The process of parents attending to the physical, emotional, social and intellectual well-being of a child.

These factors of parenting are being minimized by technology while nobody notices. It appears to be ‘okay’ to buy the child technological toys to keep them happy. As an added bonus, it stimulates the intellect. So apparently, it must be a good thing!

Unfortunately, these techno toys may be attending to the intellectual aspect of responsible parenting, but at the expense of the other three very important factors (physical, emotional and social).

Many people assume if a child is walking around with an iPhone that must mean they are well taken care of. Thus, parents have become assimilated into the surreptitious ideology that if a child ‘has’ things, expensive things, they must have a good home environment. Are parents being fooled?

When parents think they are too busy or too tired to mingle after work, they become relieved the techno toys pacify the child, which eases the guilt feelings. It subtly diverts the child’s attention away from the parents, lessening the need to actually interact with the child.

The controversy is the problem of rearing children in a two-income household to survive our unstable economy. Parents are understandably exhausted when they get home from work. But the child suffers when parents remove the emotional component within the home. The social interaction, the ‘genuine attachment’ … is missing.

Do parents honestly believe the child will learn social skills on their own? Do they expect other people to teach their kids for them? Are they thinking what’s best for the child or are they just making their lives easier?

Maybe parents just think learning social skills come inherently.