Everyone who came of age in the post-cell phone era had a friend whose parents called them every five minutes to "check in" and/or yell at them about cleaning their room. Stop doing that, parents: You're hurting your relationship with your kid.
Robert S. Weisskirch, the author of a new study about cell phones, teenagers, and the parents who bug them, tells the New York Times that constant micro-managing calls from parents caused "more conflict in the family." Said Dr. Weisskirch, "When you try to do the negative parts of parenting over the phone, it doesn't work particularly well." On the other hand, when kids called their parents to ask advice or give them good news, it helped relationships.
So, this is basically saying that overbearing parents do not foster healthy filial relationships, which is an insight that dates back to The Taming of the Shrew at least. The cell phone is just a tool that has made it easier than ever for modern parents to intrude on their kids' life—like a machine gun turning the running skirmishes of parenting into miserable trench warfare. Luckily, today's cellphones come with tools that can also help distract anxious parents from their compulsive need to check in with their kids: Angry Birds.
[NYT; image via Shutterstock]