Family 411: Possible problems with the digital age

Family 411: Possible problems with the digital age

Smart technology is all around us, and it can be a double-edged sword for parents.

Tara Morgan, with our sister station WSYX, walks us through why getting caught up in the digital age poses a problem in this Family 411 report.

There are moments when Gretchen Bjornson and her youngest son, Conner, share screen time.

And when that time is separate, guilty pleasures in a love-hate relationship with the digital age.

"I think it's real easy to get distracted."

Psychiatrist Megan Schabbing points to some positives for parents to be tech conscious.

"Kids are in to social media and they're in to their iPhones. They're in to all these different forms of technology and as parents, we have to keep up with it for that reason to keep an eye on them."

But Schabbing also says it can have negative consequences.

"It can really impact negatively [on] a child's emotional development self-esteem."

Dr. Schabbing says it's reasonable for a mom or dad to plug in when they need to, but make sure their child feels they are a priority and not neglected.

"We need to be interacting face-to-face with our kids. We need to be present for them and we need to be setting a good example for them."

A child's well being and safety could be at risk.

"There's missing your child growing up and not having that interaction with your child, but it's also dangerous to not be watching your child."

Gretchen begins her day on her iPad.

"I check my email and I check Facebook."

It's how her day ends too.

"It'll open back up again and I'll look at it for the calendar to see what's going on."

Mindful of lasting impressions on her two boys.

"I see kids trying to get their parents attention when they're on them and I don't see responses.

Gretchen says there should be a time and place for technology.

"You've got to be present for your kids."

Dr. Schabbing says the American Academy of Pediatrics developed guidelines for limiting screen time for children which can also apply for moms and dads.

She suggests establishing a game plan within your family for times and places designated as media free.

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