By Tyson Durbin, LPC, LMHC
In today's digital age, the impact of technology on children's development is a topic of increasing concern. However, the role of parent digital wellness in shaping children's digital habits and overall well-being cannot be overlooked. This post explores the latest research to shed light on the influence of parent digital wellness on children's outcomes.
1. Setting Positive Examples
According to Hofferth and Moon (2019), parents play a vital role in shaping their children's behavior through their own technology use. When parents demonstrate responsible and balanced technology habits, children are more likely to adopt similar practices. By practicing healthy digital behavior, parents become positive role models and influence their children's digital wellness positively.
2. Emotional and Social Development
A study by McHale et al. (2020) highlighted the importance of parent-child interactions in fostering emotional and social development. Excessive parental digital device use, particularly during shared activities, can lead to reduced emotional availability and hinder meaningful connections. Being present and engaged in offline interactions with children fosters stronger emotional bonds and supports their social-emotional growth.
3. Academic Performance
Research by Radesky, Schumacher, and Zuckerman (2015) emphasized the negative impact of parental digital distractions on children's academic performance. When parents are frequently engaged with their devices, children may experience disruptions in attention, reduced parental guidance, and limited opportunities for meaningful learning experiences. Prioritizing focused and undistracted interactions with children supports their cognitive development and academic success.
4. Digital and Mental Well-being
Parental digital wellness also plays a crucial role in children's mental health and well-being. A study by Coyne, Padilla-Walker, and Howard (2013) revealed that parents' excessive technology use was associated with increased emotional and behavioral problems in children. By practicing moderation and creating technology-free zones or times, parents can promote a healthier digital environment and foster better mental health outcomes for their children.
Recent studies emphasize the significant impact of parent digital wellness on children's development and well-being. By setting positive examples, being emotionally present, supporting academic endeavors, and prioritizing mental health, parents can create a healthier digital ecosystem for their children.
Understanding the influence of parent digital wellness equips parents with the knowledge and motivation to make intentional choices about their technology use, ultimately shaping positive digital habits and fostering a nurturing environment for their children.
Coyne, S. M., Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Howard, E. (2013). Emerging in a digital world: A decade review of media use, effects, and gratifications in emerging adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1(2), 125-137.
Hofferth, S. L., & Moon, U. J. (2019). Cell phone use and child and adolescent well-being: Introduction to the special section. Child Development, 90(1), 1-4.
McHale, S. M., Dotterer, A. M., Kim, J. Y., Crouter, A. C., & Booth, A. (2020). The developmental course of electronic media use during the transition to adulthood. Child Development, 91(5), 1555-1573.
Radesky, J. S., Schumacher, J., & Zuckerman, B. (2015). Mobile and interactive media use by young children: The good, the bad, and the unknown. Pediatrics, 135(1), 1-3.