You’re lounging in a living room chair as your 2-year-old plays with blocks on the floor.
Your toddler giggles at his stack of blocks, but you’re too distracted to notice because your phone is buzzing. You’ve received an email and three Facebook notifications. Instead of plopping down on the floor, you check your messages.
What’s wrong with this picture?
In “Papa, Don’t Text,” a recent article published by “The Atlantic”, author Deborah Fallows says there’s a huge difference in the way we view technology and parenting today compared to 30 years ago.
We’re focused too much on our touchscreens.
Fallows says that when walking her grandchild she noticed parents glued to their mobile screens instead of interacting with their child.
Children need their parents attention, she wrote especially when capturing speech and learning cognitive skills.
In fact, in 2009, the “Pediatrics” journal published a study noting that children exposed to a more conversational environment scored higher in language proficiency.
“Children’s language abilities and eventual academic success are linked to the sheer volume of words they are exposed to early on,” by their parents wrote Fallows.
We asked local readers how parents can break away from their smartphones.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. Realize that you’re distracted. You first must become aware that you’re distracted and not bonding with your child.
2. Bond with your child. Toss the football around or or think about reading a book series with your child.
3. Limit your technology time. Allow yourself two hours of online or TV time and then focus on your child. Omahan George Sterba, 19, says it’s something he does at home with his younger siblings. If parents limit their children’s online play time, they should do the same.
4. Get involved. Omaha mom Kay Ivey said to “ask your children what they want to do with you today.” Examples: gardening or scrap booking.
5. Use your smartphone as a resource. Omahan Amanda Barber, 27, said to find new activities, craft ideas, weekend happenings or things to do with your children. Then get out and enjoy your family.
Shauna Brayman, 22, is a University of Nebraska at Omaha student interning for momaha this summer.
Read her blogs by clicking here.
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Above photo: Michelle McKnight helps her then 2-year-old son Alden select a video to watch on an iPod Touch. Alden’s parents, Michelle and Doug McKnight, use the iPod to help keep him busy during the day.
Photo by CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
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