Disciplining in the Age of Gadgets

Disciplining children has long been an age-old struggle for parents, not in so much as it’s difficult to get a child to obey, but in getting to that point without instilling negative emotions in the child. Parents want their children to understand that disciplining them is done out of love, and while most parents agree that children will likely only understand this when they are more than a decade old, it still hurts their hearts to have to say no to their child.

Is authoritative parenting the right way to go?
Do I become a tiger parent?
Or should I spare the rod?
What if I end up spoiling them?
If I become too much of a friend to them, will they respect me?

Part of the discipline dilemma that parents face in the twenty-first century is limiting gadget use. How do we deal with it when technology is so essential to our daily lives? While there are many answers to this question, I came across a video that relays one of the solutions to this dilemma.

1. Get Rid of Your Generational Prejudice

Parents need to understand that though their children are certainly not as wise as they are, they also do things for a reason. Don’t be that parent that constantly drones on and on about “nung panahon ko–” Recognize that gadgets are a resource for learning, understanding, and communication.

2. Use the Apps that They Use

…if only for research purposes. We are all learning about the new apps that have emerged the past decade and a half. Save from the actual developers of the programs, none of us are experts here. Understanding how these apps work will help you understand what your child is doing in the app, and will help you better comprehend their motivations for using it. This is so discussions on time-outs don’t turn into lectures. Instead, you show them that you understand where they are coming from, and this is your take on that perspective and experience.

3. Schedule a Regular Digital Detox

One of the side effects of the ever-present gadgets and internet is social burnout that can manifest in physical ways. The owner of the gadget is always and constantly on call. Even if they think they’re relaxing, they’re actually not. Help your child regulate this by scheduling a digital detox. This can be something as simple as banning phone use at night. Your children can tell their friends that they’re unavailable after a certain hour, and will help them truly relax at night.

4. Help Them Understand Themselves

Now that you understand the apps they use and your children’s motivations for using them, help your children understand as well. When they develop a strong sense of self-awareness, they’ll be able to better gauge which apps they can and should do without. This can help them recalibrate their gadget dependency and know the value of self-care through disconnection. They’ll be less susceptible to peer pressure and better understand their own value.

Empower your children by understanding them.  

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