Friday, February 05, 2010

Electronic Parenting

Now that each of my kids has a cellphone, I notice that like most parents I tend to relax a bit knowing that I can reach them and they can reach me anytime there is trouble.  But it makes me wonder about the next generation of parents who have now begun to extend their electronic relationship with their children vis a vis nanny spy cameras which allow them to watch their kids from work, or gps tracking for children so parents can know where their kids are at any moment.  Will they relax that grasp further still, believing they are always "in touch" with their kids, even if it's remotely?

I like the idea of being able to talk to my kids away at college via a video chat on our computers.  But this will never be an adequate substitute, for me or for them, over our time together - in person.   Kids need that interaction and to know that mom and dad are near, ready and willing to help.  Parents need to show kids their value, not with more expensive electronic touches, but with something much more valuable:  time, and hugs.