I came across a recent study by Galt Toys which has revealed that parent- child play time has diminished to under one hour, and even more interesting, parents have lost confidence in play, with some even claiming to have forgotten how to play with their children altogether.
There is more information here- http://blog.galttoys.com/2013/06/14/play-amnesia/ and I would love to hear your opinion on the situation as an expectant mother I really want to cherish play time with my little one when they arrive.
I went to the link and in some ways I think the number is a little bogus -- to count only "one on one" play time seems very stilted to me. My children are closely spaced, and I VERY seldom had one on one play time with either of them. Likewise, an only child playing with BOTH parents wouldn't count as "one on one."
I also think that much of the valuable interaction we have with our kids is while we are doing other things, talking while shopping, making dinner together, putting laundry away, taking care of them, etc is just as valuable as "play." The study implies that only "play" counts, and all the other interactions don't. I suggest reading "the continuum concept" for another view of how child can be raised. The study was looking only at time that is child centered, and not counting time that children are a part of but are not the center of attention. I think that allowing children to part of our real work around the house and valuing the time we spend just caring for them is more emotionally healthy than teaching children that they *need* to be the center of our attention or that they are being short changed. This is an interesting article:
Also, I regularly took my children to the park when they were little, and often I didn't spend that time "playing" with them because they were quite happy to make their own fun with each other and with their peers. So I did things like talk to my friends or read a book, which weren't things I got much of a chance to do when we were home. So seeing a parent using a smart phone rather than interacting with their child doesn't bother me -- its doesn't imply anything about the total amount of interaction that parent has with their child, or the quality of those interactions. Its just being judgmental without having the facts.
But whatever the numbers and however OTHER people do things, the relationship you build with YOUR child is totally in your hands. It really doesn't matter what the societal trends are. You get to do this how you want to.
but everything has pros and cons