Forget Driving While Yakking; Now You Should Be Worried About Parenting While Yakking

from the the-blame-game dept

There are plenty of news stories that seem to blame some form of technology for actions of individuals. The latest, as pointed out by reader Rose M. Welch, is an article that seems to be blaming mobile phones for bad parenting. Apparently, child development folks are worried that parents are paying more attention to the person on the end of the other phone line than their kid trying to get their attention, and this may stunt child development. The article doesn’t cite any evidence of the problem other than some weak evidence (which the article admits is weak) concerning a study about kids whose mothers talked a lot on a mobile phone while they were pregnant. Of course, that’s a totally different issue from parents ignoring kids after they’re born, so it’s not clear why the study is even mentioned. Either way, it seems that the point is pretty basic: parents should pay attention to their kids. That would seem to be true no matter what technology is around.

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Comments on “Forget Driving While Yakking; Now You Should Be Worried About Parenting While Yakking”

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John (user link) says:

Stats That Are Selective

Sounds like reverse engineering of the stats.
Like air transport safety – measured against other forms by ‘per passenger mile’. Try measuring ‘deaths per accident’, or even ‘deaths per trip’, and the figures change.
Or, smoking. ‘People who smoke lessen their lifespan by so many years’? NO! Most smoking people suffer no life shortening at all, and lots of others die young.
There is no average in a game of roulette.

hegemon13 says:


And how is this any different than parents ignoring their kids while talking on a landline phone? Not to mention…children should not always be the center of attention. Yes, they need lots of attention, but talking on the phone is not bad parenting. Sometimes, children need to know that they are not the center of the universe. Going to the extreme of neglecting children is bad no matter what the technology. Somebody must have been really hurting for good news to print.

Adam says:

I’m getting sick of the “for the kids” crap. When I was growing up in Eastern Europe we didn’t have yellow buses with flashing lights driving us to school, no crossing guards, no gazillions warning labels on everything from a soccer ball to a bike, we couldn’t sue a teacher or our own parent for slapping us slapped we did get for disrespecting teachers and parents. If kid was too dumb to get killed by doing stupid shit it was “natural selection”, defective genes out the pool. Yet, most of us grew up just fine while 90% of American kids is growing stupid cattle without a slightest touch of even common sense not to mention education. Sick….

bshock (profile) says:

your commitment to evolution is truly heartening

I’ve frequently seen articles on TechDirt where the complaint is made that either it’s impractical to outlaw talking on a cellphone while driving or apparently wrong even to suggest that talking on a cellphone while driving is a dangerous thing.

I now see that you’re absolutely right. If cellphone driving is dangerous, then people who do it will inevitably tend to remove themselves from the gene pool. Given a few thousand years, we would then be relatively free of such idiots. And to hell with the collateral damage.

Jen in Tenn says:

Ha! I thought this blurb was about PARENTING while driving!

…and BELIEVE ME, that can definitely be more distracting than talking on the phone while you’re driving! Settling arguments, disciplining, quizzing about homework, all over your shoulder while trying to be vigilant about watching the surrounding traffic and obeying traffic laws. It can be a challenge! Just like the phone yakking, sometimes you’ve just gotta pull over.

Been there, done that…

another mike says:

educational opportunities

My parents used it as a way to teach manners. “Mikey, don’t interrupt when Mommy is on the phone.” Or talking to another grown-up. Unless it was a bleeding emergency. And it commonly was. I’m not one of those coddled precious snowflakes raised by a soccer mom; there were so many ways to get hurt growing up it’s a wonder I survived childhood. Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions, and the woods behind my house were filled with opportunities to gain experience.

Nemo Inconditus says:

The evolution of parenting?

Hey maybe the situation hasn’t gotten worse it’s just changed. My mom didn’t have a cell growing up, and didn’t use the phone much…But, I’ve probably wasted five years of my life waiting for her to finish talking to the rest of the town while shopping. However, I don’t think any of this has to do with parenting. Good parenting is telling them your mistakes so they don’t make them and helping them learn from their own. Teaching manners and phone etiquette is part of that. As for natural selection…
I don’t think it’s helping…

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