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Don’t let the urgency of technology derail your parenting presence

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Troy (whose last name is withheld for privacy) is a student athlete entering his junior year at Granite Bay High School who volunteers time for community projects. He observes that with technology it is easy to ignore what is around us. “I look for projects where I can meet people and do things outdoors that I enjoy,” he said, explaining that working on construction projects and farming equipment and gardening are the type of community service activities he enjoys most. One of the projects to which he has devoted his time and energy is “Hearts Landing” - private property being transformed into an off-line social hang out for youth in the Granite Bay community.*

Troy is one example of how the youth among us are acutely aware that technology can become a distraction from doing the things that have meaning and bring you joy. And while the typical worry for parents when it comes to social media is the risk the social network poses for kids, parents too are also cautioned to check themselves.

Kira Lewis, columnist with the Asbury Park Press, recently published an article about the problem of “urgency” and the role of technology in the life of the modern parent. Lewis suggests that parents can also be overwhelmed by all of the expectations and standards that are communicated via news feeds from friends and friends of friends. She argues that speed and efficiency have translated as a virtue and in our cyber-powered lives it can seem like tasks and peer pressure are driving us, but the truth is we always have a choice to set our own priorities and pace.

The main question is how are we managing our parental presence in our cyber-powered lifestyles? Is our attention divided? Are we simply products of circumstances and the expectations of others? What do you believe about free will? Do you and your children have the power to choose what to believe and how to respond to the stimulus and input from the physical and cyber realms of our world?

For more about governing your cyber-powered home with a sense of purpose and certain authority, go to: Reviving Parenthood.

(*more on Hearts Landing will be featured in future columns)