A new study has found that one-third of distracted parenting is accountable to smartphones.
Could you believe that? I definitely feel like our blog tells a story where kids are the menacing Gen-Y characters molded by the smart tech of today and parents are the Gen-X trying to rescue their children from the robotic claws of their technology.
Oh, how the tables have turned.
It appears that in some cases, it is the parents who are at fault here. Parents who are so immersed into their smartphones that they have become neglectful parents.
A lot of it has to do with the pressure that hyperconnectivity brings. We feel the need to be connected with everyone at all times. Often, we prioritize our attention to those far away from us more so than the people we happen to be with at the time.
For example, when you, as parents sit together for a cup of coffee with your friends, you tend to worry about your kids ringing up your phone rather than giving your friends their full attention. Then when you’re with your kids, you get on your phone with your friends to get a real conversation going.
See the dilemma here?
Smartphones makes the absent party the more important. As parents of young children, when your kids are supposed to be around you all the time, they may feel your physical presence, but your mental presence is nonexistent.
Thus in the world with instant smart communication over phones is more valued, face to face connections start to become less important. As a result, distraction free parenting becomes all but impossible.
To get a good overview of what children think about their parents being on the phone, here is an infographic from AVG:
Now a new study has found that when children have to compete with smartphones for their parent’s attention, it can affect the child’s brain development, in particular those areas that feel pleasure. Children with distracted parents struggle with emotional development when parents fail to showcase consistent nurturing patterns; even when they may be providing them all other comforts. Being brought up in a comfortable home with enough food and shelter and security is not enough. Consistent patterns of parenting, which include caring, bonding and nurturing in one-on-one time with kids is just as important. It is not about how much time you are spending with the child. It is about how consistently you are spending quality time with them.
Distracted parenting is slowly but surely showing to have great consequences. Who would’ve thought parents are just as much to blame vis-à-vis the smartphone craze as their kids are.
So, while I give plenty of advice to you about how you can manage your children’s smartphone addiction, may be take some of that advice and apply it to yourself. Do not let you child be robbed of a healthy emotional development that comes simply from parents putting down their phones and giving them the attention they deserve.