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May 2, 2013

Still Texting While Driving Your Kids?

by Hansa Bhargava, MD

 

Recently I was driving my son to school and he asked me a question. I said just a second, as I texted a reply to a friend. When my son then asked if I was texting, I felt a stab of guilt.

Yes, I was feeling bad that I was being unsafe, because we all know that texting while driving is dangerous.  But, I also felt on some level that I wasn’t using the precious time that we were both in the car to just talk to my son.

As we grow more dependent on our smartphones, computers, and iPads, have we lost the opportunity to hang out with our children? A recent study showed that nearly two-thirds of parents use a cell phone when they are driving with children in the car. And as our kids get more involved with activities, schools, playdates, etc., they are spending more and more time in our cars. They are growing up in the back seat.  And sadly, it seems that we are spending more time on our gadgets while this is happening.

That day I vowed to put my smartphone down, not check texts, emails, or the Internet while in the car, simply so I could talk to my 7-year-old child — and build a relationship with him.

Have you changed your use of technology? Do you have technology-free times so you can spend the time with your kids instead?

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