NZ Herald 26 May 2012
They call it iGuilt. It’s become an increasingly common sight at Saturday morning sport as parents tap away at their phones, missing little Jimmy’s goal. Some parents don’t even realise what they’re doing while others readily admit they devote more attention to their iPhone than to their child. The modern world is filled with technological distractions, from smartphones to laptops to iPads, which are increasingly hard to switch off. Netsafe director and father of a 4 and 8-year-old, Martin Cocker admitted smartphones sometimes interfered with his parenting. His job means he needs to always be contactable by media and colleagues and so he always has his phone on and with him.
How to miss a childhood
* Keep your phone turned on at all times of the day. Allow the rings, beeps, and buzzes to interrupt your child mid sentence; always let the caller take priority.
* Take your children to the zoo and spend so much time on your phone that your child looks longingly at the mother who is engaged with her children and wishes she was with her instead.
* Go to your child’s sporting event and look up periodically from your phone thinking she won’t notice that you are not fully focused on her game.
* Check your phone first thing in the morning … even before you kiss, hug, or greet the people in your family.
* Read email and text messages at red lights. Then tell yourself that when your kids are old enough to drive they won’t remember you did this all the time.