Technology: Friend or Foe of the Working Parent?

Anne Tergesen

Over the past couple of years, BlackBerry-toting moms and dads have popped up everywhere: At sporting events and on beaches, playgrounds, ski slopes and baseball diamonds. When my son’s first grade class performed “The Emperor’s New Clothes” last spring, the school principal recited the familiar request that the audience “turn off cell phones.” But as I glanced from one beaming parent’s face to the next, I noticed a handful whose gazes shifted periodically from the stage to their laps, where they discreetly tapped-out messages on the other wireless devise that’s become a staple of the working parent’s mobile office--the BlackBerry. I’m sure these parents weren’t firing off emails about minor matters. But while sending messages to colleagues or clients, they also were inadvertently sending a message to their kids: I don’t really have time for this.

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