twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Moms: Back Away From the BlackBerry!

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Checking your e-mails incessantly could be harming your child. Here's why.

woman using cell phone

Ellen S.: It's one of the first truly gorgeous spring days in New York City, and I'm sitting in a park and taking it all in: budding trees, blooming flowers, cute babies in Bugaboos and the buzz of ... moms. Moms on their cell phones, chattering away as said cute babies play with little toys or smile into space. I watch one mom simultaneously text and talk with her toddler. I see another reading her e-mails as her little girl plays with her doll.

I have been that mom who's gotten sucked into a cell phone or e-mail and ignored her child. Yet as I watch these moms around me, I'm feeling a little unnerved. Surely it can't be good for our kids if we're giving our mobile devices the best of our attention.

Cell phones have been around for years, of course, but this is the first generation of kids growing up with parents who have so many communication options at their fingertips. (Texts! Calls! E-mails! Facebook updates! Twitter! OMG!) If nothing else, kids are learning that you needn't be fully present when you're with another person -- not a very charming social skill. But I also wonder about other ways this could affect our children, starting with safety: If you're distracted by your device, you're not watching your kid as well as you could be, period.

Since I'm no shrink, I can only muse about the psychological effects. If kids don't feel worthy of our undivided attention, maybe they'll start acting out to get more of it. Maybe they'll feel a little less confident than they could. Maybe they'll figure they can behave however they want, given that their mothers' eyes are more likely to be glued to their mobile devices than to them.

As I sat on the bench and watched these moms ignoring their kids, I vowed to quit doing that to my own children unless a call or e-mail is critical. It's only been a few days so far, but let me say, I feel a lot more connected to the kids when I'm out with them. Not to mention relaxed.

Today I was having lunch out with my 5-year-old, and the mom at the next table over was scanning her iPhone as her kids silently ate their pizza. My tote sat next to me on the bench and I could feel the buzz-buzz-buzzing of my BlackBerry against my thigh as the e-mails trickled in. I shoved the bag aside and asked my little girl what sort of things she'd done in preschool that day.

Come on, take the challenge. Put away your PDAs for the kind of PDA kids need: Public Displays of Attention.

next: Jon and Kate: The Single Mother Double Bind 
68 comments so far | Post a comment now
Walter Irland February 11, 2011, 4:18 AM

Lovely site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also

quick credit score February 14, 2011, 6:10 AM

I like that website layout ! How do you make it!? It’s rather cool!

John Deere Hoods February 14, 2011, 11:15 PM

I enjoy your wp format, where did you get a hold of it?

new hair style 2011 short hairstyles February 17, 2011, 5:21 AM

It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.

Used Tow Dolly For Sale 2 February 17, 2011, 5:41 AM

Most people, when they criticize, whether they like it or hate it, they’re talking about product. That’s not art, that’s the result of art. Art, to whatever degree we can get a handle on (I’m not sure that we really can) is a process. It begins in the heart and the mind with the eyes and hands.

Chicken Pox Symptoms and Vaccines February 19, 2011, 3:34 AM

I’d should examine with you here. Which is not one thing I normally do! I take pleasure in studying a publish that will make folks think. Additionally, thanks for allowing me to remark!

NYC News February 26, 2011, 9:36 PM

Have you considered including some social bookmarking buttons to these sites. At least for youtube.

San Diego Web Design February 27, 2011, 5:50 PM

Fantastic Stuff, do you currently have a bebo account?

CHEAP USED CARS March 11, 2011, 5:51 PM

I reckon I bit off over I may chew.

Chong Cryderman March 16, 2011, 8:23 PM

This post seems to recieve a large ammount of visitors. How do you advertise it? It gives a nice individual spin on things. I guess having something useful or substantial to say is the most important factor.

air ambulance March 20, 2011, 8:21 PM

If you could message me with some hints & tips about how you made your website look like this , I would appreciate it.

website March 24, 2011, 11:51 PM

Amazing article, cheers, I will visit again now.

morton's neuroma alcohol shots March 25, 2011, 5:41 AM

I was wondering if you ever considered replacing the layout of your site? It is well written; I enjoy what youve got to state. But maybe you could add a a bit more in the way of written content so people can connect to it better. You have got a great deal of text for only having one or two photos. Maybe you can space it out better?

How to Use Putty March 26, 2011, 3:58 AM

Whilst I really like this post, I believe there was an punctuational error near towards the finish of the third paragraph.

best friends shirts March 27, 2011, 11:29 PM

Do youve a spam concern on this internet site; I also am a blogger, and I was asking yourself your situation; weve developed some nice techniques and we are searching to swap options with other people, be sure to shoot me an e-mail if serious.

Lindsey Kittinger March 29, 2011, 5:25 PM

I am constantly browsing online for articles that can help me. Thank you!

Marvin H. Khan March 29, 2011, 8:10 PM


Should I Boil Ribs First March 30, 2011, 11:41 PM

Have you given any consideration at all with converting your current web site into Chinese? I know a small number of translaters right here that will would certainly help you do it for no cost if you want to contact me.

Jose I. Wilkerson March 31, 2011, 4:33 AM


ivy league admissions March 31, 2011, 11:28 PM

I believe that one of your advertisements caused my web browser to resize, you may well need to get that on your blacklist.

Back to top >>