It’s an unarguable fact. Technology is now more a part of our lives than it has ever been and there are no signs of that trend slowing any time soon. Riding the technology wave is difficult for anyone, and provides additional challenges for parents of children at any age. And when it comes to parenting our foster/adoptive kiddos, understanding the magnitude of affect that technology can have, and what to do about it, is imperative.
I recently had the privilege to sit down with Kate Turner, LPC to discuss the issue of trauma and technology. Kate, with a background in school counseling and years of focus on the effects of technology on children, provided the following invaluable information and suggestions for parents of kids from hard places.
First, it’s important to understand that unresolved trauma causes individuals to unconsciously anesthetize which makes children from hard places more likely to overuse technology. There are many studies on the negative effects of too much screen time and our foster/adoptive children could experience these effects at greater levels due to their predisposition towards medicating trauma.
Second, it is vital to have a technology game plan for the existing children in our home, as well as for those children that may enter our home through new foster placements. In some cases, older foster children may arrive at our home with a phone or other pieces of technology along with habits they’ve developed surrounding their use of the devices. Communicating guidelines to the children and even case workers will be the first step in maintaining your households technology game plan.
Third thing to consider is the fact that technology can have a negative affect on causal thinking and steal imaginative power. While access to any and all information available in the world is an amazing tool, it’s important for children / teens to develop deductive reasoning skills that come from working out solutions to some life situations without the help of Google. During this vital time of brain development it’s important that these skills be promoted through reasonable technology controls.
This special technology episode of the Mamas Well Podcast also reveals three simple things that can be done to help establish healthy boundaries involving technology:
-Phones go to bed before people, people get up before phones
-Phones charge in parents room
-Parents mirror behavior for kids and teens
Be sure to listen/watch the full podcast for more great information about parenting and technology.