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Present parenting

Two children in as many days had to be rescued from the waters of Sikome Lake in Calgary over the long weekend, prompting officials to issue a safety reminder that parents need to be present and attentive when their children are around water.

Sikome Safety Ambassador Supervisor Marie Donohue told Global News, if the child is within arm’s reach but the parent is on their phone or mobile device, they are not being active in keeping their child safe.

A recent study also suggests parents are being overloaded with the fast pace of today’s reality and are slipping into “autopilot mode,” causing “lapses in memory and attention, induced by stress.”

Psychology Today reports research has highlighted the damage parents can do when they’re physically present, but distracted and less responsive because they’re attending to their smartphones.

Studies have indicated children express more distress, and are less likely to explore their environment, when their mothers are using cell phones. Habitual mobile-device use in mothers resulted in more negativity and less emotional recovery in the children, even when the mothers did turn off the phone.

We are in no place to tell you how a child should be raised, but we are in a position to call attention to what experts are seeing. And, it seems to us, parenting 101 needs to be updated to include how to remain present and raise a child within the realities of a device-saturated world.

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