Parent-Child Relationship In The Digital Era

Perhaps the greatest change in parent-child relationship has occurred in the past two decades, with the advent of the digital age. This change is most noticeable in the relationship between an adolescent child and the parent. Adolescence is commencement of individuation, and the physical, mental and emotional health of the child during this period is critically dependent on the relationships and changes of it within the family, and in particular with parents.

To read thee full article go to: The Huffington Post     The knee-jerk reaction is to believe that the digital age has deteriorated the relationship between the parent and adolescent child. Having an adolescent child, myself, the sense of righteous indignation that this belief creates in me is almost comforting. “I never spoke back at my parents”. “Put that tablet away when you are eating”. “Look at me when I a talking to you”, “Your grades are down because you are on social media all the time”, “Talk to grandpa instead of staring into your phone” – the complaints and resulting relationship stressors are endless.

But, a more rational approach shows that such stressors have always existed in different avatars and technology has in fact improved the relationship between the parent and adolescent child.

The digital native adolescent consumes approximately 12 hours of digital media per day in talking, texting and chatting with her various concentric circles of family, friends and acquaintances.

Naturally, digital technology has become a predominant mode of communication within families and has undoubtedly extended the opportunities and increased frequency of interaction between the parent and adolescent. The digital age has altered the heirarchial nature of conventional parent-child relationship into a form that is more equal, intimate, and egalitarian than it has been in the past.