Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Debra Wesselmann, MS, LIMHP

Author, Mental Health Therapist, Researcher, Expert in Attachment Trauma

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Attachment in the Digital Age

My friend and colleague, Joan Lovett MD,Confident Parent said to me not long ago, “I think there will be a syndrome resulting from infants and children attempting to interact with their parents while the parents are talking on their cell phones or playing on their ipods.”  I am afraid she may be right.  There is so much more to DISTRACT us from being really present with our children than there ever was before.  I myself have carried on a kind of “half there” conversation with a family member while on my laptop or returning text messages.  Truly, it is not possible to be “all there” with someone while simultaneously on an electronic gadget.  Due to technological advances, the “gadgets” are becoming more and more compelling, and as we have more and more ways to communicate electronically, the demands for constant communication are increased.  I think as parents (and even as grandparents!), we need to be mindful to contain our electronics to specific times in our day and avoid allowing “screen time” to bleed over into family time.  ”Half there” communication with our offspring breeds insecure attachments and feelings of isolation. Our youngsters need to see themselves reflected in our eyes as we look at them, listening but also attuning to their facial expressions and body language.  Our physical and emotional presence teaches them that they are worthy.

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