Caution: Smart Phones
June 15, 2010 · Posted in Adult Children, Communication, Parenting, Technology · Permalink

“Get off the iPad! Come hang out with me!!”

Not me to my daughter, mind you–my daughter to me.

It’s true. I am in love with my iPad. It is hard for me to put it down. It calls to me. Even my adult children who are quite the techno-wizards themselves feel they sometimes have to pry me away from my iPad. They think I escaped a terrible fate by not having a cell phone or computer when I had small children. I cannot imagine I would have been good at setting it aside when bored at the park, or while bathing them or sorting Barbie clothes.

Thursday’s New York Times article “The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In” was upsetting. Not only because I meet with kids who by age 8 report that their parents love their blackberry more than them, but because I know full and well how hard it is to focus on relationships with children when the call of the responsive, neat and fast smart phone asks you to just take one more “hit”. The lures of technology are like quicksand–before you know it you are buried under cravings and habits and it feels impossible to get yourself out.

I feel for parents. It seems like an unavoidable addiction. Take out calls and texts while at the park and you too would shovel sand, push on the swing or pretend to be captain hook. I think my kids lucked out on having an unplugged mother and I hope parents can sometimes fight the urge to put it away.

Here is a challenge–for one entire day pretend it is 1987 and ban yourself from all modes of technology other than a land line. You will walk away with a clear understanding of the difference technology makes in the quantity and quality of time spent with children. It is unrealistic to cut everything out on a daily basis, but if you can follow any or all of these guidelines you are guaranteed to have a richer relationship with your child:

  • No phone, computer, etc from the time you come home from work until the kids go to bed
  • No phone/text usage during meals
  • No talking or texting while you take your children to school

And for myself. When I have the gift of a daughter home from college who wants me to hang out with her, I better let go of my beloved iPad. I am going to make sure she holds me to it.

Bookmark and Share

Comments

  1. KCF
    June 15th, 2010 | 12:50 pm

    Oh, does this ring a bell. I am in love with my new Macbook, my first wireless laptop. Unregulated technology is a relationship-wrecker, too. I have had to set strict internal rules on its use, not just for my girls’ sake, but also for my husband’s. I try to limit its use in the morning before others get up and after dinner to 10 minutes only, so I can chat with my husband. I use it with abandon during my solo lunch hour (I work at home)!

    One thing I’ll say — it’s made me more empathetic to my kids’ dependency on their techno toys.

Buy Our Book, 'A Mother's Circle'
Facebook  RSS

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 345

Warning: mysql_query(): No such file or directory in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346

Warning: mysql_fetch_row() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /nfs/c07/h05/mnt/180010/domains/sohoparenting.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/quickstats/quickstats.php on line 346