The Guilty Secret of Distracted Parenting

Excerpt from this article:

Parents at the playground looking at their phones while their children play, unsupervised. Parents at the Little League game checking their email and missing the all-important at-bat. Parents at dinner focused on the action on their screens, rather than the real people around the table.

We don’t always like to admit it, but taking care of small children is often quite tedious. When my three children were small, I wouldn’t have made it through without a certain amount of distraction.

 

The BBC Dad: Lots of Articles

 

This was awesome! Here are a bunch of articles, analyses and memes:

  • Breaking Down the Father on BBC Being Interrupted by His Children
    [link]
  • When the Children Crashed Dad’s BBC Interview: The Family Speaks
    [link]
  • The Real Reason Everyone Loves The BBC Dad Video:
    “Who can resist a little kid in glasses?” [link]
  • ‘Mommy, Come Wipe Me!’ and Other Perils of Working From Home
    [link]
  • This Parody Imagines How a Woman Would’ve Handled That Viral BBC Interview
    [link]

Nielsen: Age 10 is mobile adoption sweet spot

Kid-Smartphone

Excerpt from this article:

Given the ubiquity of smartphones among today’s kids, gaining insight on usage patterns and mobile motivations is an ongoing endeavor—and one that Nielsen has undertaken in its most recent Mobile Kids Report.

Released today, the Q4 2016 study examined smartphone usage among US kids ages six to 12, as well as their parents’ attitudes towards mobile devices and wireless services.

Among the findings is the fact that age 10 appears to be a sweet spot for mobile service adoption (22%), followed by age eight (16%). Ages nine and 11 are tied at 15%. Just under half (45%) of US kids receive a service plan between the ages of 10 and 12…

Of the parents surveyed, 90% say being able to easily reach their child was their top reason for providing wireless service before the age of 13, while 80% admit they give their child access to wireless service in order to track his or her location.

 

How millions of kids are being shaped by know-it-all voice assistants

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Children certainly enjoy their company, referring to Alexa like just another family member.

“We like to ask her a lot of really random things,” said Emerson Labovich, a fifth-grader in Bethesda, Md., who pesters Alexa with her older brother Asher.

This winter, Emerson asked her almost every day help counting down the days until a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.

…Yarmosh’s 2-year-old son has been so enthralled by Alexa that he tries to speak with coasters and other cylindrical objects that look like Amazon’s device. Meanwhile, Yarmosh’s now 5-year-old son, in comparing his two assistants, came to believe Google knew him better.

“Alexa isn’t smart enough for me,” he’d say, asking random questions that his parents couldn’t answer, like how many miles it is to China. (“China is 7,248 miles away, ” Google Home says, “as the crow flies.”)

In talking that way about a device plugged into a wall, Yarmosh’s son was anthropomorphizing it — which means to “ascribe human features to something,” Alexa happily explains. Humans do this a lot, Calvert said. We do it with dogs, dressing them in costumes on Halloween. We name boats. And when we encounter robots, we — especially children — treat them as near equals.

Internet of Things Teddy Bear Leaked 2 Million Parent and Kids Message Recordings

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As we’ve seen time and time again in the last couple of years, so-called “smart” devices connected to the internet—what is popularly known as the Internet of Things or IoT—are often left insecure or are easily hackable, and often leak sensitive data. There will be a time when IoT developers and manufacturers learn the lesson and make secure by default devices, but that time hasn’t come yet. So if you are a parent who doesn’t want your loving messages with your kids leaked online, you might want to buy a good old fashioned teddy bear that doesn’t connect to a remote, insecure server.

Rude Daycare Shames Moms for Using Phones During Pick-Up

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According to Mom.me’s Jeanne Sager, the sign was posted at a Texas daycare, where mother Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz spotted it and posted a photo of it to Facebook. Of course, the combination of daycare and phones is like blood in the water for the sanctimony sharks, and the picture is blowing up with more than 380,000 shares so far. A lot of them are cheering on the daycare, because you just know they’ve been waiting their whole lives to talk about this kind of “neglect,” preferably with a lot of exclamation points and pointed comments about how they “never” do that.

Still, many of the comments are defending the hypothetical phone-moms, pointing out that there are a lot of things these people could be forced to take care of at right that moment. (Are you a doctor? A lawyer? Waiting for important medical test results? Maybe you’d better pick up your phone when it rings.)