While we often voice our concern about kids being so plugged in and connected to various forms of technology at all times, we overlook a rather important factor: the impact that Plugged in Parents have on their children. This is a factor that has recently been agitating child development researchers.
In the studies carried out by Dr. Sherry Turkle, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Initiative on Technology and Self, the concept of how parental use of technology affects children and young adults is examined.
300 interviews in 5 years have revealed repeated patterns of children feeling emotions such as hurt, completion and jealousy in response to their parents being constantly plugged in.
The same three feelings and emotions were felt by children who were unwilling to express their sense of hurt at being deprived of their parent’s attention at meal times, when being picked up after school, during sporting events and other extracurricular activities.
And it isn’t just the need to make oneself available constantly that so engrosses parents; it is almost addictive and parents tend to tune out everyone including their kids.
The laptops and the Blackberries are not the villains here, but parents do need to be able to effectively divide their attention and spend quality time that is not distracted by gadgets and gizmos.