How Plugged in is Your Parenting Style?

(I originally Published this Article, Plugged-In Parenting: 5 Ways Technology Has Changed The Way We Parenton the Huffington Post. This post is more on the cheeky side than anything. )

Being that we live in an age of constantly emerging technology, it only makes sense that it would spill over into parenting.  Below are five ways technology has changed the way parents, parent.

Who needs a pediatrician when you have Dr. Google?  I’m not sure when I started consulting Dr. Google for my ailments, but I do know for sure that when I was pregnant I was in his office at least once a day. Now that I am a parent, I Google EVERYTHING!  This is NOT good. Gone are the days of calling mom, or a been-there-done-that mom for answers.  Here are the days of pulling out the smart phone to Google what ever ails you or your child.  Admit it.  Dr. Google is the new go-to for (Free) immediate answers.

The Tech Toting Toddler Mafia. I remember my immense disgust when I first learned that it was commonplace for five year olds to have a mobile phone tucked in their backpack for “emergencies.” I mean really? A five year old needs a phone? Now, nearly three years since first hearing of this trend…I get it. In fact, I am all for it! Why not? If my son goes to a friends house and needs me, by all means son, get that emergency phone out of your Thomas The Tank Engine backpack and call mommy. You know, the number I set for you on speed dial. I know, God forbid he asks to use the phone. I also like the fact that I can use GPS to always know where his backpack is.  Admit it, if someone said, Hey, here is a free phone for your kid.  You would snatch that shit right up.

Who needs a nanny when you can have an electronic one? Speaking of handing phones over to our five year olds, I am guilty of handing mine over to a one year old to buy some cry-free time in the line at the grocery store. Doesn’t everyone? Last Christmas, my sister bought her five and seven year olds their own, because she was tired of them fighting over hers. In fact, she was just plain tired of the fighting, and knew the tablets would offer hours of peace and quiet while the boys played their favorite app. When I say ‘hours’ I mean ‘hours.’ Games are quiet time wasters parents use everyday. Being that I am one of them, amen to Apps!

You mean they used to make books out of paper?  As a parenting blogger I get numerous request a day to review one children’s eBook or another. Children’s eBooks are all the rage now.  My sister buys them for her kid’s tablets on a regular basis. Finally(!!!) a book that a touchy toddler cannot destroy before you even get it out of the store.  And don’t even get me started on the space saved from not having piles of books lying around soaking in chocolate milk and safely concealing crusts and veggies. 

Don’t look now, but Big Mother is Watching… One of my favorite baby gadgets is the video monitor.  As a first time parent, being able to watch my newborn while he slept from the comfort of my own bed was a godsend. I still use his monitor at night, and to watch him while he plays in his room while I prepare meals.  Recently, my husband and I have even been toying with the idea of getting a full house surveillance system, so when we are away we can still watch the mice play.  Imagine. Watching the babysitter while having a date night.  This is completely normal. From hidden surveillance teddy bears, to the complete home surveillance system, more and more parents are monitoring their child’s every move from their smartphone.  I am still undecided on how much I really want to see.  I am just thankful that this was not going on while I was a babysitter. The nannycam would have put me out of business--I never would have had the balls to raid the refrigerator while talking to my girlfriends on the phone the entire night.

Is it really necessary that five year olds have mobile phones?  Do seven year olds really need a tablet for Christmas? Do ten year olds really need the newest version of a gaming console they already have? Do we really need to spy on the babysitter? Do we really consult Dr. Google over every bump, scrape, cough and sneeze?  Of course we do! I am 100% for ‘Plugged-In Parenting.’ If fact, I don’t leave the house without my RavPower back-up battery so I can make sure I am always plugged in.

However, I am not for lazy plugged-in parenting. It is crucial that parents keep those security settings high, monitor what games are being played, and sites being visited. NEVER give out your password.  You need to always know when something is being downloaded. We live in an age driven by technology, get on the bus or get left behind.  Just make sure your children are always on the safe bus…

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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit