It isn’t a hearsay anymore that the world has evolved and parenting has become harder compared to decades ago due to the impact of technology, especially the internet.
However, the advancement in the world as a result of these inventions has made the world come together in one umbrella as a global community, making the dissemination of information and learning easier.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, 2017, with the rapid development of information technology, approximately 48% of the world population are internet users and over four-fifth of world’s youths are online.
In contrast to the positive effects of the internet, the internet is conceived to create some sort of addiction to its users especially the youths when not properly monitored or regulated due to negligence in the part of the parents which leads to symptoms like cognitive and behavioral misconduct, exposure to sexual, violent contents, cyberbullying and harassment. Hence, the need for parental responsibility to curb its negative effects on the children.
Parenting simply refers to the process of raising, promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social and the intellectual development of the child from childhood to adulthood, not exclusively the biological parents; as well as others.
Internet is a global computer network providing a myriads of information and communication facilities made up of interconnected network using standardized communication protocols while social media as a digital technological tool is a computer-based technology that enhances the spread of ideas, thoughts, information through the building of virtual networks and communities.
Connecting this useful platforms to parenting, its impacts and the case of American singer/ rapper Cardi B’s tweet that went viral regarding her singing along with her popular song “WAP” which is full of sexual and vulgar words but sighting her daughter; Kulture, she stopped the song immediately. This her own way of parenting has caused a lot of tongues wagging on how her music is a bad influence on the youths when she stated in her tweet that:
“Ya needs to stop with this already! I’m not jojosiwa! I don’t make music for kids I make music for adults. Parents are responsible on what their children listen to or see. I’m a very sexual person but not around my child just like every other parent should be.”
Based on my observations, it is a sign by Cardi B to show the world that: look, I do music but I am also responsible for what my child reads, watches or listens to.
When parents develop the right parenting skills, they are able to take the necessary steps in filling the generational gaps and its impacts. When parents start to understand the balance of where to place boundaries, where to encourage, and where to discourage, then their children will not get spoiled by the negative contents on social media or the internet. In this way they become good parents. When people do not know how to be responsible parents, it creates a huge gap between the parent and the child.
Parents, especially mothers, due to their closeness to their wards, should develop a parental behavioral control – use of emplicit control method such as monitoring their children’s activities, whereabouts as well as setting rule, restrictions and boundaries to the use of their smartphones and other gatgets.
The nature of parent-child relationship such as trust between parents and children and their willingness to communicate with their parents and their satisfaction with their parents’ restrictions or control and voluntarily disclosing their activities to manage their behaviours.
Contrary to the above, parents shouldn’t use emotional blackmail “Parental Psychological Control” in form of inducing guilt, authority assertion, personal attack or withdrawal of love to address their adolescents’ internet addiction, rather address their excesses in love and bonding.