Parenting with Digital Devices

Parents have always faced challenges in managing the family environment. Within the past decade, these challenges have increased as digital devices and media have become more ubiquitous in the home. The issues faced by families include the appropriate age for children to interact with these devices, whether children's cognitive and social skills may be negatively impacted by the use of devices, and the role of parents in setting limitations and rules regarding the use of digital devices in the home. The use of digital devices may also have a positive influence on family management. Parents are now able to stay in contact with their children during the day, which helps in managing the time of children and parents. Social interactions with extended family members as well as with other children can be enhanced with digital devices and allows for visual contact with others. Unfortunately, there is little research that helps in advising families on how to manage digital devices in the home and how to accommodate the constant changes that occur in technology. The research itself has antiquated methods for assessing the role of digital devices in the lives of families and children. Thus, newer methods will need to be created in order to track how families are using digital devices to organize and manage their lives. There is a clear demand for more research on how technology is changing the family environment and that will be the challenge for the next decade of research.