Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Which is the Greater Influence the Internet or the Parent?

Is it possible that the ways and thinking of the young in your family are more of an influence of the internet than of their parent? Is your child spending more time online . . . friendster . . . multiply . . . myspace . . . youtube . . . facebook . . . and so on . . . but lesser time with Mom . . . Dad . . . family?


Over the past 10 years parents have been forced to deal with the overabundance of new media such as the Internet. Accustomed to media like television and radio where content access can reasonably be controlled or at least understood, parents have developed mediation techniques to help deal with unwanted content. But, given the expanding media environment afforded by the Internet and the lack of expertise being reported by parents, these mediation styles need to be examined in the context of online use.

Teens are now preferring the Internet to the telephone, and are increasingly seeking information online. Thus, it becomes very important for researchers to understand how content is being viewed and monitored in the home. Furthermore, with Internet use becoming bedroom accessible to youth, it now competes with traditional activities such as playing outside or family get-together. Thus, the scope of Internet mediation research now must extend to an investigation of general parenting styles and access location so that researchers can begin to understand how media such as the Internet are being integrated into everyday parenting situations.

The increasingly competitive economy is creating an environment where parents are forced to spend longer hours at work and fewer hours with their children. The internet and the media are bringing the outside world into homes. As a result, outside influences have greater access and influence over children than ever before.

If you are like most parents who cannot afford to decrease the amount of time at work in order to closely monitor your children’s activity, then it is safe to assume that quality of time you spend with your child is critical. What, then, are the steps you can learn to increase your influence over the negative effects of mass media, the internet and the rest of the outside world?

As we become the parent we deserve, it is very important that we provide wise parenting. By that I mean, we choose to provide supervision and support to help shape our child’s emotional, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual well-being, which the internet cannot give. A commonly used phrase, but one that has the ring of substantial truth, is that parent is a child’s first and foremost teacher. From birth to age eighteen, a child spends just a fraction of time in school. Therefore, it is not surprising that many factors outside the school environment can significantly influence a child’s prospect for academic success. Likewise, factors outside the home environment may empower or destroy the child. But, proper nurturing and encouragement liberates not limits, multiplies not divides the child’s chances of becoming a responsible person.

On the other hand, some of the same outside influences that can harm your child can be used to help your child. Get on the internet or stop by the book store to educate yourself about parenting. Learn the tools necessary to raise a happy, responsible and productive child in a loving, safe and nurturing environment. Other parents are terrific sources of support and ideas on parenting. Or contact a psychotherapist in your area who offers support groups, parenting classes and seminars. Be sure they are teaching useful parenting information.

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