Can kids really text and surf and watch tv and get homework done? All at once?

Yesterday, I ended my first post for the new Digital Parenting project with a little discussion of a column I read in the New York Times earlier this week. Pediatrician Perri Klass wondered if kids were really able to do so many different tasks, including studying, at the same time. Watching tv, surfing, texting, talking on the phone. All at once.  The conclusion of the article was, quite possibly yes. As long as the kid is performing well in school, why worry?

Now, I remember I used to tell my mom I could watch TV and do my homework at the same time, but it wasn't strictly true. Sure, I could get routine things done, but if I really needed to concentrate, I had to turn off the distracting visual stimuli. Music was okay but my eyes needed to be on the prize.

Have things really changed? Are our kids learning differently in the digital age? My nine-year old son insists he can watch tv, play Nintendo and do his homework at the same time. I'm not so sure. Sometimes his work is fine, other times, sloppy and full of careless mistakes.

What's happening in your house, and how are you handling it?


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