Nope, this is not a post about sexting. It’s not about teens and cellphones. It’s nothing as urgent and timely as that.
It’s about me, my toddler, and my smartphone.
The World Of Silent Conversations
Today, I had four significant conversations: One with my sister, one with my spouse, one with my mom, and one with my best friend. Yet, not a single word was spoken between us.
Later, as I put my almost two-year-old to sleep, I tried to compensate for all that silent communication with excessively animated stories and songs. She watched as her dad and I caught up on our days. He read her a ton of books. We basically fawned over her for an hour.
Here’s where I still worry: How much “everyday conversation” is she getting? On busier days, she sees me chatting with the cashier, waving quick hellos to neighbors, and exchanging hurried niceties with other parents at preschool. On slower days, it’s usually just us until about 6 pm.
Yesterday was one of those slow days. Here are the spoken conversations that took place (not counting those between the two of us):
- Starbucks drive through order
- Short phone call with doctor’s office
- 20 minute conference call
So… is that a lot? Is it not enough? She didn’t hear me venting to my bestie (ok, probably for the best). Or making plans with my spouse for the weekend (she was already in bed). She didn’t hear me catching up with my sister. Or joking with my local group of mom friends. Those were all via text.
The Art Of Speaking Aloud
I know, I know— this is what you might call a “low priority problem.” All in all, my kid’s probably hearing more than enough words to be ahead of the curve. She goes to preschool and has playdates, and we travel often to see family and friends.
Still, I wonder how all this silent communication is affecting our kids, growing up with smartphone-addicted parents. While our opposable thumbs reach a new level of evolution, our vocal cords are becoming less and less… necessary. Maybe our kids are simply missing smalltalk. Maybe it’s for the best.
Why, then, do I feel sort of relieved every time I run into a friend at the store or on the street and have a random 15 minute conversation? I get the same sense of satisfaction I get from buying her a simple, wooden toy or tossing her into the backyard with nothing but a ball and the grass. I feel like I’m teaching her a lost art— the art of speaking aloud.
Spoken conversations are sort of old-school now. And, call me traditional, but I think they’re important.
How about you, mamas? Do you spend your days in "silent conversation", or are you keeping the spoken word alive in your home?
Contributing Sister Site and Author
Hi. I’m Renee. Two years ago, I left my full-time job in New York, moved back home to Texas, bought a house, and popped out my first baby. Luckily, I did this all with an awesome husband and totally bewildered cat. Life in south Texas is way hotter than I expected and way better than I imagined. Other than my daughter, the things I love most are public libraries, fresh margaritas, adult conversation, and anything funny or satirical. (I used to love sleeping, but I think we all know that’s a lost cause.) I’m a Certified Toddler Negotiator and Freelance Copywriter who works wherever there’s Wi-Fi.
Renee is a contributor for Rio Grande Valley Moms Blog, one of our Sister Sites.