Stop texting and parenting

Easier said than done. But the latest research indicates kids suffer more injuries while parents are texting.

By Haley Overland
Stop texting and parenting

"The police officer right over there almost ran my kid over because I was texting my wife."

So begins the latest Wall Street Journal video that's causing massive amounts of buzz today. Apparently, it has struck a serious cord with many parents (who probably saw it on Twitter while they were pushing the swing...?).

"Multitasking makes you dumber." Oh no...

According to researchers and health experts, the amount of injuries to children under five has increased in the last five years. And they're pointing a finger at smartphones, which are distracting on several levels, and dumb us down with all the multitasking.

Though, as the Globe and Mail points out, it's difficult to ensure there's a causal link between texting and kid injuries, "anecdotally" it definitely adds up. Especially in light of some of the incidents highlighted in the compelling Wall Street Journal video.

Funny, I just wrote about this topic at Celebrity Candy when photos surfaced of celebrity fitness guru Jillian Michaels texting away with her two-year-old on her lap (above). I admitted that, though I do my utmost to avoid it, I sometimes text while I'm with the kids as a way to get things done. Mind you, it was a fenced-in park, my kids are over five (so less accident-prone than a toddler), and I asked another parent to watch my son while I organized his birthday party right there on my phone... in 15 minutes. But still.

I definitely do not text while out walking with my kids: They're so little that a car turning into a driveway would never see them. But now I think I'll at least try to stop texting when I'm alone with the kids altogether. It's better for everyone anyway. I don't want my kids thinking texting during family time is appropriate. I want to set an example of moderate smartphone-use. And I want to be present for them. Even if it means putting off birthday planning for when they're in Karate class or with Grandma.

Don't text and drive.
Don't text and parent.

Got it.

How about you? Do these findings make you want to put your smartphone away when you're with the kids? Want to make it a challenge and see how long we can go without texting when we're alone with the kids?

This article was originally published on Oct 02, 2012

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