Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend wa(o)nderings: Being busy (& distracted?)

View from the car, on a rainy weekend night.  Snapped with the iPhone. 
Eeeek!  Its Tuesday already.  Where has all the time gone?   We had a busy (and rather rainy) weekend, which for me consisted of mainly typing that dissertation of mine, while the hubby very nicely hung out with the little boy.  I did manage to get a break from the computer and we had korean food for dinner one night, plus we joined our DG to celebrate D's (Junior J's godpa) birthday.  :)  The hubby also spent the whole of Sunday helping out at a friend's wedding as one of the brothers (and had to eat ALOT of wasabi and sambal chilli as part of the "torture").  This week's going to be spent just rushing my research, hopefully most of it will be done by the end of the week.

Speaking of research, and to make up for the dearth of pictures, here's some food for thought:

Courtesy of The New York Times (click to view larger)
The above graph shows the number of words spoken by a parent to their child (an indicator of the quality of a child's language environment) in 6 households, when smartphones and computers were switched on (lighter grey bars), and when they were switched off (darker grey bars).  In 4 out of 6 of the households, the number of words showed a significant jump when technology was not intruding.

This graph was an accompaniment to this article in the New York Times: The risks of parenting while plugged in, which discusses the effect of parents staying constantly connected through technology on their children.  I know I've been guilty of sms-ing or surfing the net sometimes while looking after the boy as he plays, but we do try to stick to a no-phone rule for meals at the table.  I guess technology really is a double-edged sword:  It allows parents to work from home, and to obtain all sorts of information useful for bringing up kids... but it also may become a hindrance too, taking away some of the attention we should be giving to the kids.  

Any thoughts?


  1. I am using the laptop to work from home while being a full-time mother. Currently, I work only when the boy is sleeping. Every morning, we have a dedicated 1-hour homeschooling lesson with fun activities. If I need to work when he is awake, then he plays independently or I find someone to help babysit him.

    I refrain from holding on to any gadget when looking after and playing with him. It certainly takes a lot of discipline. :)

  2. It's one of the reasons why I prefer to steer the children away from televisions and iphones. They become little zombies and hardly communicate once they're engrossed in their tv/games. It takes a lot of discipline and at times it just seems easier to switch on the Tv to give myself a break.

  3. Uff I feel guilty now, after reading that article.

  4. MieVee: Wow, I salute how you manage to juggle it all: work, plus homeschool lessons, plus taking care of your son! Yes, it really takes discipline, I keep having to tell myself to focus on my boy and stop surfing!

    Jillian: Again, you bring up the important point, that it requires loads of discipline! But I guess sometimes we ourselves do need a mental break...

    Kira: Ooops, didn't mean for the article to be a guilt-trip! Just thought it was food for thought, sometimes I do feel guilty when I think about it too... :p



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