Kids and Family
As parents, we're often called on to be expert multitaskers - the other day I found myself cooking dinner, supervising one child in the tub, scheduling an appointment on the phone, and helping another child with their homework all at the same time. At work we can often be found simultaneously checking e-mail, looking at web sites, IM'ing with colleagues and jotting down notes during a meeting. In a culture where there is a constant flow of information at our fingertips, many things on our todo lists, and limited hours in the day in which to accomplish everything, multitasking has become the norm rather than the exception.
But what happens when multitasking becomes the norm for kids too? A recent article in the Washington Post, Teens Can Multitask, But What Are Costs? examines this question. It seems that more and more, kids are dividing their attention between homework, music, text messaging, phone calls, and instant messaging, and experts are worried that it could lead to difficulties with learning complex subjects as well as an inability to focus deeply on any one topic.
What do you think? Is multitasking something to worry about, or a necessary coping skill for our world today? And even if it is a problem... is there anything we can we do about it?
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