Chapter 7: Technology’s Influence on Parent-Child Relationships

7.4 Blog Prompts

Read the article: “Yes, Smartphones are destroying a generation, but not of kids.” Reflect on information in the chapter about parents’ use of technology, and on our discussion of the Millennial generation of parent users who may unconsciously be swept up with unintentional over-use or, to the contrary, a heightened awareness of technology’s seductive powers. Do you agree with this perspective on our attention to parents as technology users?

Select one of the two videos highlighted in the Learning Activities for this chapter. Relate the father’s actions in that video to what was discussed in the chapter about parenting and parent-child relationships. Do you believe that the father’s actions were right? Wrong? Why? Why not? How might you respond were you the same parent in the same situation?

Technology can introduce a shift in the balance of power in parent-child relationships. A teenager may be more familiar with how to use apps and devices than his or her parent. This can lead to the teen feeling they have the upper hand and the ability to work around whatever rules the parent has set forward. And it can lead to the parent responding to the unfamiliar power shift with underconfidence or an over-assertion of authority (e.g., making tougher restrictions elsewhere). What are your thoughts about this possible power shift in families due to comfort differences with technology? Is this something you or others you know have experienced? How might you aid a family who is facing this dilemma?

In this Wired magazine article, Jaclyn Greenberg writes about feeling more connected to her adolescent daughter when they learned a language together via an app. After reading the article, provide a reflection on her experiences from your own perspective. How might this have felt for the teenager? What are your own experiences in sharing a technology with a parent? Perhaps an app like Duolingo or a game that involves the two of you in the same goal? How might it strengthen the parent-child relationship? Are there elements of the experience that might play out Wiggins’ agency and communion dynamic for both members?

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