This morning (mind you it was before I had even gotten out of bed or had my first cup of coffee) I read an article in The Atlantic entitled, The Dangers of Distracted Parenting, When it comes to children's development, parents should worry less about kids' screen time - and more about their own, by Ericka Christakis.
This excellent article reveals that while we spend all of our time ranting about our children spending so much time on the computer or pad or cell phone, the real problem may lie within ourselves and the time and attention we steal away from our children with our own devices.
I have a feeling the author must be a parent because she clearly is not condemning parents for having responsibilities that pull their attention away from the kids, but instead makes it clear what is lost when we (not the kids) spend nearly all of our together time with our brains somewhere else.
It is not just the fault of technology that we are so distracted. I can remember coming home from a long day at the office and collapsing on the sofa withy face buried in the newspaper. My now-40-year-old son would try to get the attention of his sole parent, but I was in another world. Years later it pained me to realize that when we talked he would still look deep into my eyes to see if I was really, truly there... listening to him.
Be Here Now , the title of a popular old book from my college days, pretty much sums up a great lesson in parenting. In it the author Ram Dass says,
“We’re talking about metamorphosis
We’re talking about going from a caterpillar to a butterfly
We’re talking about how to become a butterfly.”
That pretty much sums up childhood.
I highly recommend the article and then, if you want a real shocker, look at that page on your phone that tells you how many times you pick up your phone each day and how much time you spend on social media.