Parents today are probably the most informed and involved generation in history. And, yet, in the company of their children, they often act as though they’d rather be someplace else. That’s what they’re saying when they break eye contact to glance at their push notifications or check Facebook when they think their child’s distracted. The parents are present, their attention is not.
In my practice, I see evidence every day of how such inattention affects kids. ~Pediatrician Jane Scott
Disturbing indeed: a pediatrician who thought she’d seen it all reports a two-year-old with infected ears turning to Siri on his cell phone–rather than his dad beside him–for info. Although, I gather it didn’t bother Dad too much–he was busy on his phone as well.
Eight-year-old Tommy loves electronics (and his mother wisely restricts his time on them). Nine-year-old Tina uses, rather than loves, gadgets. But both of them are also highly responsive and aware of the needs and feelings of others. They have solid relationships with the people around them. So does two-year-old May.
On the other hand, I recently heard of a young man whose hands are permanently disfigured from using joysticks (he’s still playing).
And I remember reading of a kind of detox program in another country. Although the prognosis for a cure to game addiction was poor, therapists were using physical action figures to try to wean addicts away from the screen.
And that gets me thinking. It appears that electronics are here to stay. Some groups prohibit their use altogether.
Tommy’s and Tina’s moms have opted for teaching sensible use, like watching these French stories on YouTube.
It looks like parents and other caregivers need to decide on a plan before vulnerable children become socially impaired and/or addicted.
What do you think? Do you agree that this is a cause for concern? If so, do you have suggestions?