Texting while parenting

Article from the New York Times about how hurtful it can be to kids when we pay attention to screens instead of our offspring.

I used to have a “no computer or phone while he’s awake” rule with Peanut, but had been easing that lately so I can check email while he’s in the yard or the small one is happily talking to his mobile. Guess I’ll go back to the daytime blackout, which is great news for my need for adult interaction and freelance work.


15 thoughts on “Texting while parenting

  1. What about when they are teenagers and we can’t get them away from their screens? The wheel goes round and round, doesn’t it? ;)

  2. ha! i saw and felt guilty about this article this morning, too. for reals. those pics were a little too familiar. though, at the dinner table?! who does that?

  3. You got me thinking, for sure! I hope you don’t mind, I referred to your blog (in a good way) in my post today. Thanks for pointing out this article to me.

  4. I think it’s important to find the balance and to not ignore:) We have “quiet time” at our house where everyone gets down time to look at the screen of their choice. It is a specified amount of time – a timer actually gets set. This way I control how much TV/video games my boys get everyday and I get to have a little “me” time in the middle of the day. It makes all the difference for us. My kids don’t resent the computer and I don’t use the TV as a babysitter:) I think we all win. Thanks for sharing the article. It’s always good to have a different perspective.

  5. I’m picturing you and Witch at a swanky fondue fountain holding Butter in the chocolate stream, taking turns licking the goodness off his head. amirite?

    Peanut is probably announcing that he’s the adult in the room about now, and will try to bribe you two gigglers to bed with a midnight story by flashlight. amiclose?

    I’ll eat your leftovers. I don’t care what’s left over. Really, I don’t.

  6. Oh my god, the guilt!!! You mean no more iPhone while breastfeeding? :-/

  7. Hey, you need to talk to adults to keep your brain cells from succumbing to the crap that is on Nick Jr. and PBS…Sorry, but I think that you should institute the “Mama needs to speak with someone who at least has a high school education before she loses her mind.” I am sure the New York Times could reasonably agree with that, no?

  8. j, I thought the same thing about the dinner table. Made me feel superior for about three seconds.

    letmestartbysaying, you’re the only one who wasn’t taking my name in vain today, so feel free to refer to the blog whenever you feel like it.

    Heather, I think the designated time makes sense, is completely reasonable, and teaches them a lot about things having a time and place. Why the heck do you think I’m writing at naptime? And when Peanut skips nap I tell him I am still going to do my naptime grownup things because that’s my time to do them. Not, I think, what the article shames.

    jc it would have been AWESOME to have you there with us. No fondue fountain, but there were chocolate shavings on his head and pepitas wedged in his collar when we were done. Peanut is in awe of Kitch and was on his best behavior until she left, damn him. Now nobody believes me.

    Fie, I can think of plenty of scenarios in which the bf/iPhone dance can be beneficial. If he nurses with eyes closed, there you go. If he goes for a while, there you go. If he can’t see the gadget and thinks you’re staring off into the distance, there you go. (Let me know if I can be of further use in your quest for justification, cuz I have a ton of ’em.)

    Maria, The Times coined that phrase. I think kids understand more when they hear both sides of the conversation, and when they’re shamed into patience by the presence of another human. When I’m looking at a screen, mine has no sense of what’s urgent versus what’s fun, and doesn’t feel the steely heat of the computer’s glare shaming him into silence.

    ck, that’s what I yell that at NPR every day. I have to pass it on or it will actually make me do something about my slovenly and lackadaisical parenting.

    faemom, that right there is the reason I don’t clean or exercise or nap or relax during naptime. You either, eh? Sigh.

  9. Well, I must be guilty since my 6YO begs for an iPhone. Hubs and I have gotten better and have admitted our addiction. We now keep our phones in a different room on the weekends and I am happy to say we never showed our “problem” at dinner. Maybe they’ll let me keep the kids after all.

  10. You know, I wish I could say that I don’t use the computer when my kids were awake. But unfortunately they sleep so little (and I lay with both of them to fall asleep) that this is near impossible. So I do spend some time on the computer most days while they play. But, I feel okay about it most of the time because I spend so much of the rest of our time together playing actively with them. It is hard to find a balance between finding time for me and taking good care of the kids. If I don’t do some things that are for me, I feel empty inside. And then I don’t feel like I have much to give. But I admire those who can avoid using the computer/phone/etc. around the kids. It is definitely my goal to limit the amount of time as much as possible.

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