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How technology has changed parenting

Christina Haller works full-time in marketing, is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and lover of fluffy cats, dark coffee, ethnic food, traveling, and all things "Midwest" (you know, like hot dish, fresh water lakes, funny accents, plaid, a...

The pros and cons of parenting in 2014

Can you imagine being a parent in the '50s? Before cell phones and tablets, before mommy blogs and Google? Neither can I. Things back then were much more innocent and sweet, but I would have been so lost and confused! Here are the pros and cons of parenting with access to technology at our fingertips.

Mom and daughter on computers

1

Just Google it

As a new mom who is paranoid about everything, I don't know what I would do without Google. From the strange rash on my baby's belly, to how to get my child to sleep through the night, Google is my best friend. And Google yields results from parenting blogs with people who offer advice and stories about their own experiences, to reputable medical sites that help to determine if you should call your doctor for something like a low-grade fever.

Our favorite mom blogs >>

2

The babysitter of our generation

I will admit that when I'm trying to preoccupy or calm my daughter, I will show her silly songs on YouTube or flip through my iPhone's photo album and show her pictures of family and friends. And my nephews are always on their moms' Kindles and iPads playing games. These days, it's too easy not to just hand it over to get some peace and quiet. What happened to a coloring book and crayons?

The right age for your kids to have access to technology >>

3

Kids don't talk anymore

It's hard enough to get kids to tell us about their day. And now they just text, send an email or write on our Facebook wall. Gone are the days of actually having a nice conversation over dinner.

Anti-social kids in a social networking world >> 

4

More dangers means more monitoring

When kids wanted to build forts in the backyard, the biggest worry was mosquito bites and wood ticks. Now you have to worry about cyberbullying, if your kid is getting too much screen time and, even more scary, about child predators on the internet.

Parenting controls for cell phone safety >>

5

New ways to learn

Our family didn't get a computer until I was in seventh grade. Now, kids have everything they could ever want to know at their fingertips. This opens up doors to new worlds of information — yes, even information that can't be found in books (though it's sad that no one actually reads paper books anymore). Computers are an important source of education.

Is your child a tech genius? >>

More on kids and technology

Are gadgets good or bad for kids?
Should your kids unplug on vacation?
When your iPad becomes the babysitter

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