Catherine Steiner-Adair, Ph.D., author of The Big Disconnect, talks about parenting in the digital age. “It’s wonderful. Kids can have friends around the world. That is so cool. I am not anti-tech. You have to pay attention as grown-ups, as parents, and for our children to how we are relating to these devices and to each other.” Click here for the 20-minute podcast.
Susan Borison: Welcome to the Your Teen Podcast. I’m your host, Susan Borison. On this episode, Diana Simeon sits with Catherine Steiner-Adair, author of The Big Disconnect, to talk about parenting in the digital age.
Diana Simeon: I know you spoke to many adolescents and teenagers when you were doing the research for the book. What did you hear from them?
Catherine Steiner-Adair: We hear so much about parents complaining about teenagers, but teenagers are pretty astute observers of their parents. They’re really frustrated about their parents’ disability to put their phones down, to be there when they need them. They talk about feeling mad and frustrated and really use the word hypocrite as soon as they learn it, to talk about their parents. And they really struggle with the big disconnect in their relationships with their parents when their parents say things like, “Oh darling, we love you more than anything,” and then that same parent is texting and driving, and the child says, “Mom, dad, stop texting and driving, it’s really dangerous.” And the parent gets mad, and says, “Wait a minute, hold on, this is work. I know what I’m doing. I am in perfect control. Don’t question.”
And, you know, what I was just explaining to the students here at Hathaway Brown School, when I got to meet with the middle schoolers and the upper schoolers, is that parents do love their children, it’s not that they don’t love their children, it’s just that these devices control us, and we are not yet fully in control of how we use technology. And you have to think it’s got to be something pretty strong to make a parent risk their child’s safety to what? Make a golf date? Tell their boss the answer to something?
(For the rest of this interview, please listen to the podcast.)