Navigating Tech as a Single Parent Home
Parenting has always been arguably one of the most daunting responsibilities of an adult. It was a heavy responsibility for previous generations before the convenience of technology. But now, that same convenient tech is constantly advancing and becoming more accessible to young children, making it one of the most challenging aspects of modern parenting.
Parents today face the daily struggle between technology and their kids. Are they getting too much screen time? At what age do I grant internet and social media access to my kids? Do I know what my child is doing, what they are reading and viewing on their devices? Do I know who they’re communicating with? Do I know they are safe? These barely scratch the surface of the constant concerns of the average parent.
Now, imagine the tech-induced anxieties of a two-parent household. The challenge of navigating kids’ tech and setting boundaries, shared and balanced between two parents, all falling on the shoulders of a single parent. It’s a lot for anyone. Parents, especially single parents, need the helping hand of resources that ensure the safety of their kids and provide them with some peace of mind.
Struggles with Tech in a Single-Parent Household
The need for connection between a single parent and their child is critical. Many two-parent households struggle to maintain order and communication between every family member’s busy schedule: work hours, soccer practice, choir rehearsal; parents have a great need to manage their own schedules as well as participate and facilitate the needs of their children and extracurricular activities.When these responsibilities are shouldered by a single parent, the need for constant, reliable communication is even more vital.
In 2019, approximately 5.89 million children aged 1-17 years were recorded living with a single parent in the US. Of this number, 77.03% live with a single mother. Of that percentage, it was also recorded that 40% of single mothers in the US have jobs that offer low wages and have no paid leave. From this, we can draw on the average single parents’ need for means to stay in touch with their children while they are often away from home, working to support the needs of the family (Zuckerman).
In a single parent home, there is no other parent to call if a child is staying late after school, if they’re getting a ride from a friend, or if they’re home alone. Like any parent, single parents need the peace of mind for their children that comes from dependable communication.
Smartphones have become the go-to solution for this need, but early exposure to tech itself becomes a problem for kids and their parents.
As of 2019, more than half of American children were reported to have their own smartphone by age 11, and about one in five children even have their own smartphone by age eight (Common Sense Media). Likewise, correlations have been detected between the rise in technology/media advancement, children’s access to technology, and the effects of said technology on their development:
“A substantial amount of research has found associations between heavy technology use and poor mental health outcomes among adolescents and young adults” (Heid, 2019).
“Spending too much time on screens has been linked to not getting enough sleep, poor grades, and a greater risk of obesity” (Lee, 2020).
What sort of balance can be established between simple, reliable tech connection and all the other negative aspects of a kid’s pocket-access to technology?
Finally, parents worry about their children’s access to the internet and social media. An international survey revealed the concerns of parents regarding their kids and technology:
“Parents expressed deep concern about the role technology plays in their children’s lives. 75% felt it had a “significant” impact on their children’s wellbeing, 71% found it difficult to monitor and only 23% felt they get enough support on [parenting with] technology. Parents express particular concerns about smartphones and social media” (Parenting NI).
Popular The standard trending smart devices simply are not made for kids. Parental controls and filters exist, true; but all too easily, kids find ways to disable said controls., Additionally,and more threateningly, online bullies and predators are all-too savvy in navigating safety blockers to reach the unsuspecting child.
Single parents need the connection and reliability of a smart device, but the concern for their children’s safety is legitimate. Should parents have to compromise their kids’ safety to stay connected with them throughout the day? Absolutely not.
Just like many other parents, whatever the circumstance, single-parent families need reliable devices that are also affordable. Expensive tech in the hands of active, busy, and inevitably messy kids is usually a recipe for cracked screens, water damage, and painful payments for a replacement device. Arguably, parents would much rather stick to a simple, cheap device that meets their need for connection. However, this need for budget-friendly tech is constantly at war with the latest trending devices that “everyone else at school” has. What can a single parent do under this kind of pressure? Once again, we see the desperate need in parents for reliable, economic devices- ones that satisfy the current trend for their kids and meet their parental needs.
Safe Tech for the Single-Parent Family
Providers like Gabb Wireless ensure safety, connection, and affordability with their devices made especially for kids. Single-parent and two-parent households alike can find great peace of mind in tech that guarantees the safety and connection of their kids without putting a significant dent in their bank account.
The Gabb Watch offers safety for children of various ages. Suited for kids with the need to regularly connect with family and friends, the Gabb Watch triples as a phone, an active GPS tracker and an interactive smartwatch. Learn more about Gabb Watch here.
For a kid-safe smartphone, parents can turn to the Gabb Z2 Phone to protect their kids while also keeping them connected to family and friends. Providing the leading smartphone on the market with no Internet, no social media, and no addictive games, Gabb is giving parents peace of mind for the safety and connection of their kids. This smartphone is made with kids and concerned parents in mind, providing all the essential features of a standard smartphone, without the dangerous and addictive distractions.
Gabb’s “Tech-in-Steps” Initiative
For a parent concerned with their kids’ premature exposure to tech, Gabb provides devices that teach kids how to grow “in steps” with the appropriate amount of technology. With the proper devices and service levels teaching them healthy habits, kids can enjoy the freedom and safety of life beyond the screen while staying connected to friends and family. Gabb is fully committed to helping kids use the right amount of tech at the right time, including easing into the responsibilities that tech requires.
A Partner for Parents
Being a parent can be hard; being a single parent is harder. The parenting community should serve as a network for all parents to support and uplift each other. Whether from a single-parent or two-parent household, caregivers can know that they have resources like Gabb to provide reliable, affordable, kid-safe tech products to ensure the protection and success of their families.
The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2019. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/the-common-sense-census-media-use-by-tweens-and-teens-2019
Heid, M. (2019, March 14). Depression and Suicide Rates Are Rising Sharply in Young Americans, New Report Says. Time. https://time.com/5550803/depression-suicide-rates-youth/.
Lee, K. (2020, May 18). Cutting Down Screen Time Means Better Health and Grades for Kids. Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/cut-kids-screen-time-for-health-621154
Parents concerned about the effects of technology on their children, don’t feel they get enough support, 2019; https://www.parentingni.org/news/big-parenting-survey-2019-findings/
Zuckerman, 61 SINGLE PARENT STATISTICS: 2020/2021 OVERVIEW, DEMOGRAPHICS & FACTS, 2020; https://comparecamp.com/single-parent-statistics/