It’s not just Xbox, PlayStation, Apple, Google, or Reddit that are turning kids into tech addicts. Parents are doing their part, too.
Many parents worry their children have unhealthy obsessions with their electronics. Frequent and fierce power struggles over tech time are the new normal.
Tech manufacturers work hard to make their products as enticing as possible. Why not? That’s capitalism.
Despite all the complaining about family tech habits, parents are doing more to enable Silicon Valley than to combat its influence.
Here are 10 questions to identify if you are accidentally promoting tech addiction in your child:
1. Do you complain about the kids’ tech use more than you actually do anything about it?
2. Do you ever rely on tech to “babysit” your kids?
3. Do you use tech as a reward and/or punishment, even for non-tech-related issues? (Maybe you justify it by saying this is the only thing your kids care about.)
4. Do you threaten to take away tech when you are frustrated or upset, then relent when you calm down?
5. Do you give in to your child’s demands for tech, even after you’ve taken it away?
6. Do you complain about your spouse’s texting or gaming?
7. Has anyone complained about YOUR tech use?
8. Do you have an excessive reliance on tech when you are bored, want an emotional buffer, or are facilitating a secret relationship or habit?
9. Is there anxiety in the home that may be related to a child’s habit of withdrawing into tech?
10. Does anyone in the family have any other addictions or compulsive behaviors?
A parent can’t nag a child into being less interested in the cell phone or gaming console! Change comes from a motivated parent who is willing to take responsibility for the part he/she is playing in creating a tech dependency.
Silicon Valley is making enough money. They don’t need your help.
How do you see the emotional forces of togetherness and individuality that Bowen theory describe at play in how tech devices function?