Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Technology and Parenting

In some ways, the advancements in technology have made parenting a lot easier. For instance, I am old enough to recall my mother using a wash machine with a wringer attached. Imagine the hours she spent sending our clothes through the wringer. I was never old enough to use the wringer before she and my father got rid of it; however, I recall as a young child at least standing beside my mother and conversing with her while she did the laundry. And even in the days before dryers, I would join my mother in the backyard to hang the laundry,and even hand her the clothespins. This was another opportunity for us to converse, me to ask questions, and for her to impart her wisdom.

But with the advancement in technology, what I am noticing is less interaction between children and their parents. I am guilty of allowing my son to walk around the house with an ipod stuck in his ears; however, in his formative years we used to practice "no television, no playstation, and no computer" for a few weeks each year. This worked because he did find ways to interact with me and to occupy himself.

Recently I noticed that more and more parents are simultaneously walking their toddlers in strollers and conversing on their cell phones. While I am not passing judgment, I reflect on the pleasure I got when I was out the house and walking my son in his stroller. These moments were magical as we found the duck pond and fed stale bread to the ducks and geese, looked for turtles on the sidewalks, and marveled at the flora. These walks allowed me to detach from the responsibilities and "shit work" always awaiting me in the house, and forced me to focus on my son, his acquirement of knowledge, and expanding vocabulary.

Yesterday when I noticed that every parent I passed strolling with their toddler was on a cell phone, I started to yell, "They will be 18 soon and won't want to talk to you. Get off your cell phone." But I refrained because my parents raised me to have better manners than that. Nonetheless, the trend of always being on a cell phone has permeated those moments that should be precious and sacrosanct. But who am I to judge.


semi said...

Is technology necessarily a bad thing, or simply something parents get scared of because they don't understand do you think? I am a young mum, with an iphone and a 2 year old who thinks it's as great (if not greater) than I do...

Happy & fun mama said...

something to ponder on this week, thanks for sharing.