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Parents, Kids and Gadgets

Posted on: Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

We are believers in the good things technology can do for everyone in the realms of connectedness, information gathering and learning.  We also believe that some common sense rules could go a long way towards keeping technology from impinging on the development of interpersonal skills so necessary for everyone in the twenty first century.  To address this need, we have created our own white paper on the topic “Balancing technology and conversation with kids in our high tech world”.  You can download the paper by providing us with your email address.  Click here to download the white paper and read our thoughts on the importance of face to face conversations and interactions with our children.

Last week we discussed the prevalence of apps for children on all kinds of gadgets, and the need for parents to be involved in using them to their best advantage.  The flip side of that coin is the use of technology by the parents themselves.  As today’s young people are growing up and creating families, they are not leaving their love of technology behind.  They may add a few apps to appease their children, but the parents have just as many gadgets and are just as connected, if not more so, now that they have little ones of their own.

We have all seen some variation on these family tableaus: the children are on the swings in the park, and Dad is on a nearby bench engrossed in a cell phone conversation or Mom and the kids have gone out to meet the ice cream truck and Mom texts until she is interrupted to pay for the frozen treats.

This is not a new phenomenon.  As early as November 2000, the Los Angeles Times ran an article titled “Are You Putting Your Life With Your Kids on Hold?“  The author, Nicole Gregory, discusses some of the great things about cell phones in emergencies, and that more Dads’ can drop off their kids at school, because the cell phone allows them to be connected without being in the office.  But she also discusses how sometimes the compulsion to answer the phone comes at a price, such as the Dad who missed his daughters winning a costume competition due to leaving the venue to take a call from work.

How have you tamed the gadget obsession to spend time with the people in front of you?  Have you seen children fighting with gadgets for their parents’ attention?  Share your opinions on the balance of technology and social interaction.

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