Parenting in the 21st Century

Parenting in the 21st century is a minefield. At what point did technology become the be all and end all for parenting? Because, to be honest with you, I’m not sure I like it…

The Background

My daughter has fairly extreme anxiety and as part of her treatment, my husband and I are doing a Positive Parenting course. We are both happy and open to this experience, anything to help my daughter.

As part of this experience, we have to go over our weekly routine. The tough spots, the behaviour, the punishments. All things I am happy and open to sharing with others. Or so I thought.

The Experience

I’m gonna jump straight in and tell you what happened…

Mr 8 went to an evening activity mid-winter, I’m talking 7pm-8pm during the Auckland cold-snap. I asked him to please help look after himself and wear his layers. He didn’t do this. My husband found him running around in just a short sleeve t-shirt. Once in the car, he starts shivering, begging for the heater to be on.

Mr 8 got sick that week. Yep! Full on Boy-Flu took over our house.

I spoke to my son and explained that I’d asked him to stay warm and as a result of not listening to me, he has gotten sick. We then discussed his punishment – he was not allowed to attend next week.

Mr 8 agreed this was a fair punishment. My husband agreed this was a fair punishment. I too felt this was a fair punishment.

The Fall Out

Then we had our Positive Parenting session. My husband and I explained our week in ups and downs. We told the story of the evening activity with Mr 8 and then they proceeded to explain why this was not the right punishment.

I may be paraphrasing for the next bit to save time, but you get the idea. “Children who attend social activities do not turn out to be the children who vandalise and abuse.” It was recommended we take away his iPad instead. I did not feel that taking his device away or less screen time was a more appropriate punishment.

Say what now?

Did I just hear that right?? At what point did punishments not become related to the “crime”? Am I to make my son’ main focus in the world his tablet or screen time? No matter what he does, this is supposed to be his punishment?

I don’t get it…

I may be nieve

One thing is for sure, I am not going to make technology the centre of my children’s life. Am I wrong to think this?? I still stand by my opinion that the punishment should fit the crime, not always the same technology related punishments. This may be why my daughter has anxiety. Who knows.

Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a place for technology in our children’s lives, we embrace learning with devices. I love spending time with my children doing reading and logic puzzles on their devices.

In conclusion

Parenting in the 21st century is hard. We have so many different situations to deal with today that our parents didn’t have to face with our generation. We really are parenting in a new, unknown world and we don’t really know the consequences of any of this technology yet. But we have to keep moving forward, doing what we think is the best for our children.

How do you correct the behaviour of your children?