While raising children has never been an easy task, the burden seems to be growing even heavier with each new generation in the information age.
A new study focuses on the impact of “emotional labor” on moms, but as any engaged dads out there already understand, this is an issue that doesn’t discriminate based on gender.
What is it?
Most parents are probably already quite familiar with the concept of emotional labor, even if they haven’t heard the term. And even those without kids can likely understand how our high-tech culture sets the stage for this trend.
An Australian researcher took a look at 17 moms with kids between the ages of 9 and 16 and found that they all struggled with effectively overseeing their children’s digital lives
This “intense, constant and unyielding” work results in a clear “physical and emotional toll on mothers,” the study determined, through:
- Increased stress when thinking about how much time their kids spend online.
- Attempting to teach their children how to be aware of possible scams and predators.
- Finding a healthy balance when dictating rules and limits about device use.
Furthermore, some of the mothers expressed frustration about “negotiating the terms of children’s media access with skeptical partners” who were not on the same page.
What’s the answer?
It’s clear that our culture is growing even more reliant on technology, so experts say it’s more important than ever to give children the resources needed to become “responsible digital citizens.”
At the same time, some parents rely too heavily on technology to stay connected to their kids, which some researchers refer to as a “digital umbilical cord” that needs to be severed.
It will take lots of time and patience … but if you’re going through that right now, just remember you’re not alone.