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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2008 @ 11:28pm

    "parents should pay attention to their kids"

    Really ?

    Who would of thunk it.

     

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  2.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:27am

    Whatever. Kids are so last year.

     

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  3.  
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    Lucretious, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:44am

    really? What about the heroin I give my kid to calm him down, think thats having any adverse effect?

     

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  4.  
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    Snidely, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 2:21am

    Never stunted my growth...

    How is this any different than mom talking on the wired phone back in the dark ages? Didn't seem to work out all that badly for the 25 and older set. Plus, most parents relish the opportunity to talk to a real person on the phone and get a 5 minute break from their annoying brat.

     

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  5.  
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    John, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 3:21am

    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.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 3:35am

    America, land of a bunch of annoying groups telling people what to do.

     

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  7.  
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    Michael G., Sep 11th, 2008 @ 3:42am

    Sorry...

    What did you say, was talking on my cell.

     

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  8.  
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    martyburns, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 4:32am

    I hope..

    ..that the people coming up with these reports aren't breeding.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 5:01am

    Simple Solution...

    Give the children mobile phones so they can yak away as well.

     

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  10.  
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    Colleen Rodriguez, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 5:19am

    Cell Phone Parenting

    Mike has said it beautifully!!

    Colleen

     

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  11.  
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    hegemon13, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 5:59am

    Huh?

    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.

     

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  12.  
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    Kevin, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 6:02am

    Re: Stats That Are Selective

    I really like your comment. Perhaps I will quote it and put it on my facebook

     

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  13.  
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    Adam, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 6:13am

    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....

     

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  14.  
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    Unplug the Phone, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 6:25am

    Phones are now worthless

    I think telemarketing is to blame for the parents spending too much time on the phone.
    Please - think of the childeren.

     

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  15.  
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    Colleen, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 6:57am

    "... is growing" what?

    Where exactly are you from? I'm an American grown kid and I think you were just trying to be down-right mean!

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 7:32am

    Maybe if parents just called their kids cell phones they could spend some quality time together.

     

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  17.  
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    Sarah Palin, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Whatever

    Whatever, I can raise my kids, talk on the cell phone, govern Alaska and kick Chuck Norris' ass all at the same time.

    Kids just need to suck it up and realize where their place is. Parents need to turn off the TV and actually talk at the dinner table.

     

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  18.  
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    bshock, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    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.

     

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  19.  
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    Jen in Tenn, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:18am

    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...

     

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  20.  
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    Frances, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:49pm

    Parenting while...

    Parenting while yakking isn't so much of an issue... have you seen what parenting while playing WoW does? :)

     

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  21.  
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    another mike, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 1:54pm

    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.

     

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  22.  
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    Nemo Inconditus, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:27pm

    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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