Parents, Take Note: Your Smartphone Obsession May Harm Your Kids

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: May 26, 2017 14:59 IST

Parents, Take Note: Your Smartphone Obsession May Harm Your Kids
  • Your smartphone obsession may cause behavioral issues in your kids
  • You should reserve certain time of the day for being free from technology
  • The study was published in the journal Child Development
It's true that smartphones have made our lives easier. We are much more connected with each other these day but such convenience has come at the cost of our health. In today's digital world, we are constantly plugged to our smartphones, tablets, laptops or other devices and find ourselves to have less time for real human conversations. A lot of health experts believe that digital devices, especially smartphones that are used the most throughout the day, can play havoc with our brain and even ruin our sleep. A new study, published in the journal Child Development smartphone obsession may cause behavioral issues in your kids. 

This latest research traces the impact of the constant use of smartphones by parents during meals, playtime and routine activities or conversations with their kids. Researchers warn that even low or seemingly normal amounts of technology-related interruption while interacting with kids may induce behavioural problems in them such as such as over-sensitivity, hot temper, hyperactivity and whining. On the other hand, it has been seen that when parents use less technology, their kids tend to be more responsive and parents are able to connect better with them. For the study, the team analysed surveys that were completed separately by both mothers and fathers from 170 two-parent households. Surprisingly or may not, it was found that nearly half (48 per cent) of the parents reported technology interruptions three or more times on a typical day, 17 per cent shared that it occurred once and 24 per cent said that it happened twice a day. Only 11 per cent claimed that no technology-related interruptions occurred. The study shows a strong link between greater digital technology use and a dysfunctional relationship between parents and their children. 

"It's really difficult to toggle your attention between all of the important and attention-grabbing information contained in these devices and the social and emotional information from our children, and process them both effectively at the same time," shares Jenny Radesky, child behaviour expert and paediatrician at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. 

The team suggests an easy solution to deal with this situation and ensue your child's good physical and mental health. They advise that you should reserve certain times of the day for being absolutely free from technology and engaging with your kids such as such as mealtime or playtime right after work. This may also help ease family tensions caused the super busy lives we lead and promote family bonding. This could be you actual 'family time'.  Limiting screen time, not just for your kids but also for yourself, can help in improving the quality of your life and give you more time to spend with your kids and family. 

CommentsIt has also been seen that spending too much time being plugged in with digital devices may make you more anxious and restless and this is true even for kids. A previous study undertaken by the Boston University School of Medicine shows that using tablets and smartphones can affect a child's psychology and may impede their ability to learn self-regulation. 

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