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Why do parents "put" technology before their children?

Much of the concern about cellphones and instant messaging and Twitter has been focused on how children who incessantly use the technology are affected by it. But parents’ use of such technology — and its effect on their offspring — is now becoming an equal source of concern to some child-development researchers.

Sherry Turkle, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Initiative on Technology and Self, has been studying how parental use of technology affects children and young adults. After five years and 300 interviews, she has found that feelings of hurt, jealousy and competition are widespread. Her findings will be published in “Alone Together” early next year by Basic Books.


Asked by Anonymous at 5:38 PM on Jun. 10, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • It's easy to sit in your little chair and judge other parents, but do you know what they are doing on their phones? We had both of our kids in soccer at the same time and at times I would be texting to my DH how the game I was watching was going and asking how the other child's game was coming along. Sure, if they are doing their facebook or whatever then they are ignoring their kids, but if you are close enough to see what they are doing on their phones then perhaps you aren't paying attention to your child as well.

    As for computer time, my kids have education computer software that we installed and we don't have classic type video games in our house (wii, nintendo, playstation or any other variation of the sort). We have bikes and scooters and friends and we play outside when weather allows.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:30 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:39 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • from the article "Meredith Sinclair, a mother and blogger in Wilmette, Ill., said she had no idea how what she calls her “addiction to e-mail and social media websites” was bothering her children until she established an e-mail and Internet ban between 4 and 8 p.m., and her children responded with glee. “When I told them, my 12-year-old, Maxwell, was like, ‘Yes!'” Sinclair said.

    “You can't really do both,” she added. “If I'm at all connected, it's too tempting. I need to make a distinct choice.”"

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:41 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • It is difficult. I do my best to still keep an eye on what is going on in the house. It often takes me at least 10 minutes to type out a reply, because I'm jumping up to (1) to check on my gd, to get the door, the phone, the cat, check the oven, among other things. Even if I am on the computer, my living breathing family comes first. (2) My kids know they can talk to me, even if I'm on the computer. I WILL stop and listen to whatever they have to say to me. I do see, though, how (3) it can become a problem. I feel it is a matter of priorties. My family is more important than anyone on here, or any email message, or any article I am reading.

    (the numbers in parentheses are the times that I got up while composing this reply....which is normal for me.)

    Answer by 29again at 5:56 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I understand what the article is trying to say. But sometimes as a parent you have to establish control. If I'm on the computer my children know that after 30 minutes I will paying my undivided attention to them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:03 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • I do see Moms on their cell phones all the time, ignoring their kids at school programs, sports --their own kids',etc. and the kids are whining and wailing but the Moms ignore them. The Moms are detached and oblivious. And ...I know some young Moms who are posting on Facebook all day, the games,the Farm stuff,etc. WHat are their kids doing while they are at the computer? ALL day.( I have a Tracfone that stays in my purse.)
    WHen I had kids at home years ago, we had no computers or cell phones and we were doing things TOGETHER. There was nothing that could distract me from my kids. Back then, moms could still have many opportunities to ignore their kids...getting together and eating,talking,etc. and letting their kids run all over the neighborhood. I was never one of those Moms.
    Its a sad thing today....too many ways to ignore kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:05 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • The only technology my children have is a computer--and very limited at that! Our family computer is located in the kitchen, so I can see and interact with my children wherever they are (family room, back yard/pool/swings, etc). And they will NOT have cell phones until they have their driver's licenses, and/or are working, so they can PAY for said phone! They have no need for one--as I always know where they are, or I am accompanying them to/from, or staying and watching their activities--if not participating in the activity with them!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:07 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • Why do parents put jobs before children?Addition?anything?

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:10 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • :05 by: Anon

    clapping  It's no wonder the kids are always yelling.


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:34 PM on Jun. 10, 2010

  • None of that stuff was invented yet whenI raised my kids. They all turned out successful.


    Answer by Natesmom507 at 11:06 PM on Jun. 10, 2010