'Texting While Parenting' Is Nothing to Feel Guilty About

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texting momCan you believe some mothers have the utter carelessness and audacity to send text messages while parenting?! I don't know about you ladies, but when my kids were tiny little butterballs who weren't so great at balancing yet, I never let them out of my sight for a second! In fact, I used to sort of squat down to their level and follow them all over the playground, waddling like some kind of deranged crab, so I'd always be right there to catch them if they took a tumble. Honestly gals, I just don't know why we even bother cutting the umbilical cord!

Okay, so obviously I'm kidding, but these hyper-helicopter parent types do exist -- and I blame THEM for the recent "study" based on anecdotal evidence which links the increasing use of smartphones (i.e., distracted, texting parents) with the also increasing rate of playground injuries (particularly to children under 5). But you know something? I don't buy it, and here's why:

Think back, for a moment, to your own childhood. Those misty, watercolored memories of falling off your tricycle into a cement planter and getting a big goose egg on your forehead because you weren't wearing a helmet (nobody wore helmets back then, NO-body). Or that time you learned that flying is not, in fact, as easy as jumping off a big high rock and flapping your arms like wings. Hell, when one of my aunts was a kid, she crashed her bike into some bushes and walked in the house with a giant stick protruding from one ear -- that's the stuff of family legend!

Anyway, my point is, parents today might find themselves slightly "distracted" from their kid's 80th trip down the curly slide, but we're still a lot more diligent than the "Go outside and play but make sure you come home for supper!" parents of yesterday. And somehow, either way, the human race manages to survive ...

Do you think 'texting while parenting' is something to feel guilty about?


Image via Ed Yourdon/Flickr

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BubbsJNL BubbsJNL

I read both linked articles and while the anecdotes supplied in the second article highlighted fairly significant injuries and deaths that occurred, a quick Google search would lead me to believe that those are the exception and not the norm.

What they are saying "rose" is the number of "non-fatal childhood injuries" as reported by emergency care workers.  As helicopter parenting is a fairly new phenomenon, as well, like smartphones, I wonder how many of those injuries have ALWAYS been happening but are only inspiring emergency room visits, NOW, in the age of helicopter parenting.

As the author notes, parents today are largely from a generation that was sent off to play, unsupervised and the story about her aunt is funny and scary all at the same time - and only funny because we all know at least one story like that.  Until recently, though, a spill from a bike or an ill-fated attempt at flying got treated with some ice and a conversation about consequences.  Now, it's a race to the ER to make sure that everything's fine.

I'm not saying that either is right or wrong - I'm just saying that I think it's probably MORE than just smartphones.  I also think that if you take your kids to the playground, you could disconnect for a while and show them how far across the monkey bars YOU can get and check your e-mail when you get back home. 

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