Recently, Dr. Laura asked you, "What do you think is the worst thing about a parent constantly using their cell phone around their children?" Boy, was this a hot button topic. Here are only a few of the responses:
Dear Dr. Laura,
Our children are loaned to us for such a short time that I enjoyed every hour I had with mine. I married young, and had my first child at 27, the second at 29. Even then I knew 18 years was not much time. After I lost my husband when they were 4 and 2, I spent every possible minute with them. We cooked together (they stood on stools), we organized the Tupperware cupboards together, we played, we hiked, we swam. My parents scolded me for taking them on my vacations, because according to my parents, I should have been looking for a man. I'm glad I did not take that advice. Even now that they are in their mid-twenties, we talk to each other while together. I taught them that the people they are with, not an electronic device, deserve attention and respect. I do not regret a single minute that I devoted to my children, but I would have regretted wasting that precious time.
It robs the children of a mom and dad who are present in the moment. My daughter, a Pediatrician MD., has her phone with her constantly and not just for any emergency on-call situation - she is glued to it. She is texting, taking pictures, playing games, doing something that occupies her thoughts and attention - and the children are following in this example.
When did life become so dull and so meaningless that it needs to be filled, every waking second, with some sort of computerized or mechanical device?
We are robbing our children of their lives.
I don't have children, but that doesn't mean I don't notice parent/child interactions. Parents who text constantly are ignoring their children's pleas for human interaction. It's a medical fact that human newborns will die without being handled, touched, cuddled and spoken to. When a parent is texting, they are subliminally teaching their children, this is the acceptable way of communication. Without speaking face-to-face, all words and their meanings are lost. Lost is the body language and voice inflection behind the meaning of a conversation. Not to mention, it teaches bad spelling right off the bat!
I believe that texting while parenting is not a good thing. I see so many parents out there with their face in their phones and not paying attention to their children. The children are trying so hard to get attention and get nothing.
I am so thankful I raised my girls when there were no cell phones! When we were out doing family things there were no interruptions! I was able to enjoy my kids! We have cell phones now to stay in touch as we all live in different states. And when my daughter is out with my grandson, she sends a text to everyone on her list saying, "We are being a family - please do not disturb." She also feels her time with her son is most important! I guess that is how she was raised!
P.S. Thank you for all you do