Home > Kids > Values and Responsibilities > Fostering Independence > The iConnected Parent: Are You Making Life Too Easy for Your Teen?
|

The iConnected Parent: Are You Making Life Too Easy for Your Teen?

Pros
Kids and their parents today are a lot closer than in past generations, and this is largely sustained by modern technology— text messages, emails, Facebook, and phone calls.

Children feel they can confide more in their parents, and parents report feeling closer to not only their children, but their children's friends as well. Modern technology has allowed them into a part of their lives that older generations may not have been privy to.

"The key seems to be in using this contact in ways that enhance development, rather than sustaining dependence," Hofer points out.

Cons
There are some central drawbacks to having too much accessibility. Hofer and Sullivan have found that students with the most contact with their parents were the ones least capable of taking care of their own lives.

When a student is able to call home right away, the parent experiences the "emotional heat of the moment," as Hofer describes it.

"In the days of weekly phone calls from the dorm phone, students often distilled the week and talked about highlights," she says, "The sting of a poor grade, a social rejection...might have faded by the time they were described to parents. Now...students whip out their cell phones as they leave class...and relay their agony as they walk across campus." "College students need to live their lives without having to process all of it with their parents," says Hofer, "So too much contact can keep them from developing emotional independence as well."

The electronic tether between parents and kids works both ways, too. While many parents might get a kick out of the constant contact modern technology provides, others might feel irritated at being expected to be available around the clock. Many parents look at their children's college years as freedom to do what they want with their own lives, whether it be to travel or furthering their education. Having a child always calling or emailing may put a damper on these adventures.

This phenomenon has earned itself a nickname— permaparenting. And with the steady decline of the country's economy, this trend has been known to extend into early adulthood, as more and more adult children are moving back in with their parents after graduation.



|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

thanksgiving crafts & recipes

Make this Turkey
Day fun for the
whole family with
these essentials.

GO

highlights

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games for Kids
Looking for some great Thanksgiving games to play with your kids? Print our free Pin the Feathers on the Turkey game, Pin the Hat on the Pilgrim game, and Thanksgiving Parade Bingo game for loads of laughs this Turkey Day!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!