The Dangers of Distracted Parenting - The Atlantic
Erika Christakis at The Atlantic offers another perspective on screentime that none of us wants to consider: Our own phone use.
"For all the talk about children’s screen time, surprisingly little attention is paid to screen use by parents themselves, who now suffer from what the technology expert Linda Stone more than 20 years ago called “continuous partial attention.” This condition is harming not just us, as Stone has argued; it is harming our children. The new parental-interaction style can interrupt an ancient emotional cueing system, whose hallmark is responsive communication, the basis of most human learning. We’re in uncharted territory."
Child development is relational, and the interaction between parent and child must be higher quality than "mmm hmmm" for the child to develop higher level skills. Our always-on culture and acceptance of distraction is paving a new path for the skills of today's kids, and likely not for the better.
This article — one of those memorable ones that will be passed around — is a must-read for all of us. If you're interested in reading more on the topic, Christakis has a book out: The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need From Grownups
Illustration: Edmon de Haro