The baby and the BlackBerry debate


In yesterday’s New York Times, the article The Risks of Parenting While Plugged In really grabbed my attention.

Why? Lately, I am fascinated with the acceleration of technology…particularly of the concept of holding your entire world in the palm of your hands. Before I got a smart phone, I barely remembered to turn on my cell phone much less text from it. Now, I turn the car around if I happen to leave that little guy on the charger at home. It changed my life!

But as time goes on, I realize some of the downsides of being “connected” all the time…in particular, there’s nowhere to hide when available 24/7.  So, six months into the “plugged in” frontier, I am working on balance.

That’s why an article that talks about the challenges of technology on parenting struck a chord. I’m sure we can all relate to the opening scenario of the 2 1/2-year-old trying to bite her mother’s leg in a desperate attempt to tear her away from her BlackBerry. If you think about it, technology vs. the family really isn’t new. Remember when TV was the mealtime culprit to family bonding time? Now we get to add lap tops and iPhones to the table. 

But for all the pros and cons, most would agree that technology does affect the way we parent, and the way we parent affects children’s development. The early years are the most vulnerable, where taking the time to observe and engage with your child is critical for understanding important developmental milestones and developing a strong relationship with your child.

So listen up parents…here’s your balance: text4baby. 

Text4baby is a new FREE mobile service to help new and expectant moms receive important health information for themselves and their babies. To sign up, you just text “BABY’ 0r “BEBE” for Spanish to 511411 or visit text4baby.org.   Moms will receive three SMS text messages each week on their cell phone with tips to help her through pregnancy and baby’s first year.

No costs are associated with this service and its a great example of how we can use technology to inform and engage parents by putting key health information directly into the hands of pregnant women and new moms.

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