Passive Parenting, Benign Neglect

Benign — “good, kindly, benignant, benevolent, tender, humane, gentle, compassionate.”

Someone tell me how neglecting the child(ren) in my care can be described accurately as benign. 😯

I know, I know — we can refer to it as benign in the sense that it is “not malignant.” But still, how is it not a malignant thing to neglect my children?

Well, anyway…here’s the trigger for all that:

My new apparatus makes phone calls and takes pictures and is dazzling to the eye and does many wonders that I am only beginning to discover.

So I was doing some of that “discovering” at the playground on a recent afternoon, where my granddaughter was playing with other children. Indeed, it was the fact that she was occupied playing with other children that was my justification for getting lost in my own world, leaning against the monkey bars.

My reverie was broken by the sound of a child’s voice…

“‘Passive parenting’ in the face of the new media environment is a form of benign neglect and not in the best interests of children. Parents must regain control of their own households.’”

WORLDmag | Benign neglect | Andrée Seu Peterson

For me it wouldn’t be a cell phone. But it could be some other consuming interest or involvement, like Michelle noted in the first comment to the above article:

Benign neglect– I’m sure I did the same thing for years, reading while they played next to me.

Note to selves (mine, hers, yours, theirs, ours): Treasure your children!

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