June 24, 2007

Detachment Parenting

Check this out. I'll wait a sec while you read the link.

Okay. How do you feel? If you threw up a little bit in your mouth, then we had pretty much the same response.

What is going ON? I'm all for technological advancement, believe me. I am at this very moment basking in a wave of cool air coming from my brand new air conditioning unit. Life has been vastly improved in many ways by modern conveniences.

But human beings are good at nothing if not taking a good thing too far. Cell phones were a great invention, but now you see people walking down the street, in groups, each one talking to someone who's not there rather than the people they are with. I love my mp3 player, but come on, do you really need to be listening to it in a restaurant instead of interacting with the people at your table?

It's this whole idea of distance that bothers me. E-mail is a perfect example. I love my e-mail. I can quickly and cheaply stay in touch with friends far away. I'm also much more coherent in writing rather than in person. If I've ever left a voicemail on your phone, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

But e-mail lends itself to a sense of false bravery and many people end up writing things that they'd never say to someone in person, good or bad. You can build up a sense of intimacy with someone you've never met, or you can say horrible things to an old friend that should have been kept to yourself.

And then, what happens when you have to see each other face to face? Ack! Eeek! Run, run, hide! Some people end up choosing, consciously or not, to simply hide behind the technology and never have to deal with yucky, messy reality in person. The detached friendships of the computer become more real than the people right in front of you.

It's this exact detachment that's seeping into all the high-tech parenting "tools" that are now available. Most of it, (chairs, swings, toys, car seats), is harmless and incredibly helpful in raising a child. It's what you do with it that makes the difference. A tool that was developed to help preemies in the NICU, babies who couldn't be held and touched, is a just not meant for the general public.

Seriously, y'all. We've got to start drawing the line. Detachable fake arms to comfort your baby and assist "in his need of feeling protected"? Ummm... I don't think I'm going out on a limb here to say that if your baby needs to feel protected, maybe, just maybe, you should, oh, I don't know, PROTECT HIM. Be there, touch, reassure, hold, rock, cradle, soothe. That's what parents are for. Can't be bothered?

Don't have kids.

1 comment:

mosaica said...

Amen sister!!! I was just thinking about this the other day, that I totally will email someone before calling them. Email has totally coddled the coward in me, for better or for worse. But Zaky is just too much!!