May 1, 2014

Is Parents' Smartphone Addiction Hurting Their Kids?

Smartphone addiction.  It affects a lot of people...including parents.

Recent studies show that many parents are so addicted to their smartphones that they often ignore their children in favor of a mobile device.

A study was done watching 55 different groups of parents eating at a fast food restaurant with their kids.  Many parents immediately pulled out their mobile device and engaged with it the whole time they were eating.  They were more absorbed with the device than their kids.

This can be an issue since face-to-face interactions are the primary way children learn and connect.  The study also showed kids whose parents were absorbed with their mobile devices were more likely to act out, in an effort to get their parents' attention.

Over 1,000 children between the ages of 4 and 18 were interviewed and asked about their parents' use of mobile devices.  The language that came up over and over again, was, "sad, mad, angry and lonely."  One 4 year old called his dad's smartphone a "stupid phone."  One girl said, "I feel like I'm just boring.  I'm boring because my dad will take any text, any call, anytime - even on the ski lift!"

Is the "ping" hurting parents' relationship with their children?  Studies show that parents should think twice before picking up a mobile device when they're with their kids.

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