Alicia Blum-Ross tells us how she, as a researcher and mum, keeps up with debates on parenting and technology. She listens to podcasts on her daily commute and she shares some of her favourite ones. Alicia is a researcher at the LSE’s Department of Media and Communications. She is interested in youth media production and is part of the Parenting for a Digital Future research project. [Header image credit: 2 dogs, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
One of the things we wanted to illustrate through this blog is that there is no single ‘right way’ to parent, not least when it comes to digital media. From our series on parenting and technology around the world to sharing notes from our research, we aim to show through real-life examples that there are as many kinds of ‘digital parenting’ as there are parents.
For parents in this evolving digital age, the ability to share parenting tips and triumphs or commiserate (and have an occasional laugh) over #parentfails with a potentially infinite community of others is one of the most promising, and sometimes problematic, parts of life online. Access to the intimate experiences of other parents, outside of one’s immediate social circle or family, can evoke feelings of solidarity and support – or of pressure and insecurity.
As a new(ish) parent myself (twins turning 3 this week… #wheredidthetimego) I’ve found an easy and fun way to keep abreast of debates about parenting or technology (and occasionally parenting and technology) is to listen to podcasts on my daily commute. Here’s a by-no-means-comprehensive round-up of some podcasts worth checking out – please add further suggestions in the comments or using the #P4DF hashtag on Twitter:
I was interviewed by this thought-provoking BBC Radio 4 show/podcast last week, for a show on parenting airing today. Past episodes relevant to family life include how technology changes our concepts of home, how we disentangle our digital connections, or what the ethics of digital technologies should be.
Another tech-focused podcast, there have been episodes of interest to parents from what parents need to know about ‘Ed Tech,’ to whether designers should worry about whether games are addictive, to what to do about racism on Facebook or how schools deal with ‘sexting.’
Sonia was interviewed a few months back for this podcast debating hot topics in motherhood (screen timing apparently being on par with breastfeeding for eliciting opinions).
These ‘geek’ parents talk about parenting dilemmas but with an emphasis on fun things to do with your kids. There’s a lot of tech and gaming talk I can’t totally follow, but it’s fun to hear parents geeking out, too.
Run by two dads the podcast explores the ‘joys and pains of parenting in this brave new world.’ Recent episodes have explored how tech CEOs supposedly limit screen time for their own kids, or tried to explain the internet of things.
This podcast run by staffers at Slate explores all kinds of parenting questions from whether kids should have strict routines to how to avoid your kid being a narcissist to whether or not to have children at all. Every episode begins with surprisingly enlightening yet mundane parenting triumphs and fails.
- Where do dads go for advice?
- YouTube and digital babysitting
- Are game play and screen time bad for you?
- How our own memories of homework affect our parenting
- Is all screen time equal?
And of course if you want a podcast to listen to with your kids, we got through a car journey to the Netherlands and back listening to Storynory together.