iParenting: Rationed screen time isn’t only for the kids
Adam O. Thomas is ‘‘guilty,’’ and he’d be the first to tell you so. He’s the guy pushing his daughter, Sylvie, on the swing at their local park in Vancouver with one hand and texting his buddies with the other. The ‘‘ping!’’ of a new message will almost always halt a very “serious dance party,” much to the four-and-a-half year-old’s chagrin.
Sometimes, Mr. Thomas will be admonished by that sweet little girl voice: “Daddy, you come home and you’re always on your phone!”
“She’s frustrated, because she’s watched her shows, she’s done her drawings and she wants to show me those drawings,” says Mr. Thomas, the co-creator of the forthcoming web TV series Parked, about a group of 30-something guy friends. “I sort of had to take a position where it’s like ‘I need to take some time when I get home to participate in that moment with her because that moment, for her, does not exist a half an hour later.”
As families scramble to keep up with the rapid advancements of technology (both Apple and BlackBerry released new touch-screen smartphones this week), children are not the only ones whose screen time has come under scrutiny. British schools this month distributed brochures scolding parents for ignoring their children in favour of their smartphones, and advised them to switch off the phones before bedtime and chat with their kids or read a story instead. (Photo: Ben Nelms For National Post)