Popular media attention and scientific research in both mindful parenting and technology use in the context of parenting has expanded in the 21st century; however, these two streams of research have largely evolved separately from one another. Thus, in this conceptual paper, we integrate the research on mindful parenting with that on parents’ technology use and parenting to examine how parent technology use may impact or be linked with aspects of mindful parenting. Mindful parenting theory outlines five key components: listening with full attention, self-regulation in the parent–child relationship, emotional awareness of self and child, nonjudgmental acceptance of self and child, and compassion for self and child. Parent technology use, in particular the use of mobile devices, has the potential to impact all five elements of mindful parenting. However, the relationship between mindful parenting and technology is complex, and there can be both positive and negative implications of parent technology use on mindful parenting. On the positive side, technology use might help parents regulate their emotions; access support; and develop more empathy, acceptance, and compassion for themselves and their children. Yet, parent technology use also has the potential to create distractions and disrupt parent–child interactions, which may make it more difficult for parents to listen with full attention, maintain awareness of their own and their child’s emotions, and calmly respond to child behaviors with intentionality. Technology use may also create more opportunities for social comparisons and judgement, making it more difficult for parents to accept their children nonjudgmentally and have compassion for their children as they are. Future research is needed to understand the conditions under which technology use can hinder or promote mindful parenting and how interventions can promote mindful parenting skills and a positive uses of technology.

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Social Sciences