The increase in adults’ connection to electronic media has been tremendous in recent years. According to the American Medical Association, use of cell phones doubled between 2000 and 2009 – data that likely have been surpassed in the three years since. For most of us, social media and information websites dominate our recreational lives. It’s not just NPR or some other station on the car radio. It’s bigger than that.
This means that our children have to compete with all of our friends – including our Facebook friends and our “Liked” sites – every moment of the day. It could be argued that children of ordinary 21st Century families have less quality time with their parents – even if there is plenty of “quantity time” – than kids have ever had before. Parents are there but they’re distracted.
We all know the dangers of distracted driving. We know enough not to talk or text when we’re behind the wheel. But a new danger lurks in our technology habit – the danger of distracted parenting.
Don’t let your child weep for your attention. Put down the phone, turn off the media and look her in the eye.
© 2012, Patricia Nan Anderson. All rights reserved.