The New Parenting Epidemic Research Says Is Seriously Affecting Our Kids
By Britta Marsh on 20 Nov 2018
Do you reach for your phone, before your partner every morning?
Do you sneak off while on holiday to find a wifi signal to check social media or your inbox?
Do you check and scroll through social media before you go to bed at night?
Our digital dependency has become a problem for many of us personally, but more importantly, what impact is this having on those around us? This ‘technoference’ is particularly impacting on one group of people more than ever: our children.
The term ‘technoference’ refers to a situation where face-to-face interactions are disrupted when someone becomes distracted by a technological device, and we’ve all been there, right? However, it is estimated that modern parents are using smartphones, tablets, computers and watching television for up to nine hours a day – sometimes at the expense of their child’s attention. Because technology has become so portable in modern times, it’s easier than ever before for parents to become distracted – particularly at times that are important for children such as mealtimes, playtime and bedtimes.
In fact, a recent report from the Growing up in Queensland Project, which surveyed around 7000 children between the ages of 4-18yo, tells us young people cite parents being distracted by their phones as a perceived barrier to them getting support with issues such as bullying.
The report also tells us that only 68% of children felt they get to spend enough time with parents, family or carers. That means that a staggering one-third of children DON’T feel they get enough time with the most important people in their lives.
This is not the first research (and definitely won’t be the last) which suggests that technology interrupts our connection with our children. Studies indicate that competing for our attention with technology can lead to behavioural problems in children such as tantrums and acting out.
Isn’t it ironic that the major concern facing most parents right now is their children’s amount of screentime? It seems like we might need to look at those reflective screens just a little harder and think about what we are modelling for our kids.
So why can’t we put down our phones and stay engaged with our kids as they deserve?
In a video on ParentTV called “Why Can’t I Put Down My Phone”, Dr Kristy Goodwin delves into the science and psychology behind why we’re so attached to our phones and provides guilt-free advice about how to best tame our phone use.
Dr Kristy’s video will help you to appreciate how our phones cater to our basic human needs and have an impact on our brains and emotional well-being. You’ll learn simple, realistic ways to develop healthy tech habits (without suggesting that you never use your phone around your child) so you can be a great role model for your kids.