Psychologist Warns Parents To Turn Off Their Smartphones

familie smartphoneImage: Corbis

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Children are wired 24/7 to their parents even when they don’t seem to. And the least the parents can do, within the little time that they allow their children, is to be attentive to their needs and desires.

Children harmonize with their parents’ attention. It motivates, enlivens, rejuvenates, and refreshes them. It advances their emotional and social development. Just being physically there is of little comfort to the children. They crave for constant interaction. Being on the Smartphone distracts parents and hinders them from establishing a connection with their children. This has a negative reaction on the children who see it as a barrier.

1. Children Of Parents Who Are Continually Engaged In Their Smartphones Are More Pessimistic And Inflexible

Studies were conducted by Developmental Science on toddlers and infants from 7 months to 2 years. They were appraised for how effectively they interacted socially or how quickly they recovered emotionally. The children showed signs of distress and switched off from their surroundings when they found their moms engaged on the phone. Mobile phones hurt the social and emotional functioning of an infant and also adversely affect parent-child synergy.

Also read: Families Could Face Court Action If Children Take Time Out To Grieve

2. Children See Smartphones As Rivals

Children feel irrelevant as parents are constantly engaged on the cell phone. They compete and are devastated when they lose out. Smartphones disengage the parents from their children when they should be teaching them value systems. More than half of them reported that their parents spent too much time on their phones.

3. Children Are Emotionally Stunted When Parents Tend To The Phone

The social and emotional development of children is impaired when parents are distracted by their phones. This has a long-lasting effect that might seem insignificant but has long term implications. Distracted, unpredictable, and unreliable parenting leaves a lasting scar on the psyche of the children. They are even unable to engage in a normal conversation.

4. Smartphones Use Impedes Healthy Parenting

Children act inconsistently and seek attention when their parents are absorbed with their smartphones in their presence. This, in turn, makes the parents annoyed and irritable which further agitates the child. Children learn by observing and when they are denied this crucial method of development, something remains missing from their development.

5. Smartphones Makes Children Restive, Bitter  And Desolate

Around 1,000 children between 4 and 18 were interviewed on their feelings about their parent’s phone usage. Most children reported being “sad, mad, angry and lonely” when their parents were engrossed in their smartphones. Some children even admitted to hiding or damaging their phones.

Since this was an interview, the researcher was not clear about the long term effects of the disruption in their life. By such constant inattention, we inadvertently convey the message that a Smartphone is more interesting.

Also read: Message For Parents – A home Library Can Have A Powerful Effect On Children

Video: Dad University

Kids deserve uninterrupted attention when parents are with them. Even as the pressures of jobs leave parents with lesser time than a generation ago, a focused approach is needed. Keep away from the device and watch your children grow into healthy and considerate adults.

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We view our children as our ambassadors to the future. Parenting is about recognizing your kids as little people and when you engage in their world, they become interested in engaging in yours. When you become a part of their world, you can easily make them come around. But for that, you need to look them in the eye and assure them. They need to see the smart use of information, not see the phone as a distraction. They have to learn to use information responsibly and as a parent, only you can lead by example.


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