Text messaging keeps families in touch

Filed under: In The News, Extreme Childhood

texting kidMore than once, my husband has called me from his cellphone -- while we're both inside the house. It exasperates me to no end, but he just shrugs and says it's easier than yelling for me from another room.

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, we aren't unique. Lots of families are using cellphones, texting and other communications technologies to stay in touch. And guess what? We're closer than ever before, thanks to our willingness to use wireless devices.

A telephone survey of 2,252 adults completed over one month shows that families are heavy users of such technologies.

Remember the old days when dad left the house at 8 a.m. and you didn't hear from him again until he got home for dinner at six? No longer. Now, parents and kids keep in touch all day long, using text messages and email to communicate almost constantly.

Husbands and wives are the same -- the survey found that 70 percent of couples in which both partners have cellphones contact each other daily just to say hi, and 64 percent call one another to coordinate their schedules. Forty-two percent of parents who have cellphones contact their kids daily.

Lee Rainie, director of the project, says the technology helps create a deep sense of connectedness among families.

My kids aren't old enough to have cellphones, but when they are, I don't know how often I would check in. My folks didn't keep tabs on me 24/7, and it fostered a sense of independence. The last thing I want to do is become a helicopter parent. I'm all for connectedness, but how much is too much?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.