As a dad always armed with my BlackBerry device to capture that milestone or candid moment on the camera, read the news paper or some blogs while my son naps, or answering emails from time to time … I understand the addiction to the smartphone device. Let’s face it, as an at-home dad, I spend very little time at home so I need some way to stay connected!
Do you often wonder if we are too connected? How does all of this technology usage affect our kids? Your Brain on Computers: The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In by Julie Scelfo in the New York Times addresses parents’ use of technology (like Smartphones, Instant Messaging, Twitter, etc) and “its effect on their offspring that is now becoming a source of concern to some child-development researchers.” As usual, thanks to Matt S., for forcing my hand to read this one.
In her studies, Dr. Turkle said, “Over and over, kids raised the same three examples of feeling hurt and not wanting to show it when their mom or dad would be on their devices instead of paying attention to them: at meals, during pickup after either school or an extracurricular activity, and during sports events.”…“I’ve talked to children who try to get their parents to stop texting while driving and they get resistance, ‘Oh, just one, just one more quick one, honey.’ It’s like ‘one more drink.’ ”
This article makes you think more critically “that smartphones and laptops may enable some parents to spend more time at home, which may, in turn, result in more, rather than less, quality time overall.” Even though I am usually participating in “engaged parenting” — the type of parenting where you are “talking and explaining things to children, and responding to their questions — remains the bedrock of early childhood learning.”…sometimes, I take advantage of using my device at the expense of quality parent-child bonding. Does that make me a bad parent?