Distracted parenting

Karen Staub, prevention coordinator for the Wexford-Missaukee Child Protection Council, speaks at a conference held recently by the Upper Peninsula Children’s Coalition. (Photo by Amy Gawry)

By Amy Gawry

In April, the U.P. Children’s Coalition put on a conference for family and human services professionals called Strengthening Families Through the Protective Factors Framework. While some of the conference content was specific to training service providers, one session’s topic discussed an issue that’s relevant to anyone who interacts with children—the overuse of technology and its effect on children and families.

“It is a growing issue, and it’s going to continue to get bigger as technology takes over more and more of our lives,” said Karen Staub, prevention coordinator for the Wexford-Missaukee Child Protection Council, who led the session.

The “Distracted Parenting” session covered two main points of concern related to technology overuse during the developmental years. One was parents being distracted by technology when they’re around their kids, and the other is the effects on a child’s development when they are allowed to overuse technology themselves.

The term “distracted parenting” comes from the findings of a 10-year study, released in 2014, which investigated the rise in the number of preventable accidents of children up to…

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