With technology advancing and overshadowing the daily life, every one of us is sinking in the modern desire to stay connected. Entertainment videos, news or simply chatting with friends has become immensely important, so much so that we are starting to ignore our own children. Yes, how many times have you seen a mother drag her child while looking down on the mobile screen? You must have seen parents in a restaurant busy on their tabs and devices as their children sit beside them. You may think that this is normal, but parents being involved in screens to this extent has led to the severe neglect of children.
Yes, a research study shows that one-third of such children feel immensely ignored and neglected. You do not have to perform a study to understand the look of want on a child’s face as he claws on his dad’s clothes trying to get his attention! Many children feel unimportant as their parents cut themselves out of the important daily activities including the dinner table, watching TV, playing outside or even when actually having a conversation. According to a recent study, 32% of children actually felt that they had to compete for their parent’s attention! This is not something that you would want your child to experience, would you?
Why should parents put their screen away?
At the shopping centre, we see too many parents sitting beside their children, immersed in their tablet as their child tries hard to grab their attention. At the football game, a dad misses the big shot of his son just because he was responding to someone on his phone! Parents are spiraling into a routine, where they are unintentionally cutting their children out, without even realizing it. The phone has become so appealing that parents are choosing it over their own children. This needs to stop! Neglecting your child in this manner is just as bad as ignoring them intentionally! Here are some reasons why you, as a parent, should put your screen away for good!
To Lessen Stress
A less anxious parent is a good parent or guardian. What parents do not understand is that each and every time they grab their mobile phone they are tempted to respond and interact with a number of situations that can affect their mood. Parents often have the urge to react to messages, email messages and text messages immediately, so even when they are not able to respond immediately they are liable to stress.
Parental stress can affect how you react to your children as well. You might be irritated and less mindful of your son or daughter’s needs when you are feeling anxious to get back to your phone. It is far better to be selective about your mobile phone use. Nothing is harmful in moderation. You need to filter through the calls and texts to decide which ones are actually worth choosing over your child at the moment. Once you try this, you will find that nothing is worth it and your relationship with your child will improve.
Gives rise to Behaviour Issues
A research was conducted on some parents using technology while they were out with their children at restaurants. They found that such children were much more likely to do something naughty or unacceptable when their parents were busy on their mobile phones. When children are disregarded, they will take action against it, it is only natural. If the kid is not getting the attention of his parents in an optimistic way, they could work on a bad way to get their attention. Furthermore, parents may be too sidetracked to improve the patterns. Hence, children learn that it is okay to react poorly, especially when their parents are busy with their phones. This sets up a vicious cycle of bad behaviour that can lead to behavioural problems in toddlers and can even affect the personality of the child.
Sets a poor Example
Children are learning social skills and parents are most significant in shaping those skills. Ignoring them while you indefinitely play on your mobile will never set a good example for your children. Instead, it will incorporate the idea that it is ok to be rude and it is okay to dismiss people when you are busy on the phone. This is the time to instruct kids on the proper way to use a mobile phone, in order that they develop public skills and appropriate ways to connect with people. Rather than instructing them to be regardful of the people around them, acting in this manner will only portray a bad image and a bad example, something that children are very fast to pick.
Reduces mealtime family interactions
Mealtime is a period for kids and parents to sit back together as a family, eat meals jointly, and discuss what has truly gone on that day. It is a good way for parents to converse and be involved with their kids’ lives. It offers a chance for meaningful conversations, and a spot to integrate family principles (like not interrupting, using good manners, expressing please and many thanks, etc.). However, with mobile phones around, it becomes difficult to divide your attention. Instead of appreciating your child or figuring out their needs and desires, you are immersed in a screen, which detaches you from the surroundings. This implies less speaking with your children, less participation, less opportunity that you can know what is happening with them at their institution and in their lives.
Hurts Children’s Thoughts
Not only is your mobile phone affecting your child in an indirect manner, it can also be directly inflicting your child’s mind. Whenever your kids are with you that is when they need your attention. Your kids may have put up with an entire day at school or anticipated a conversation with you the whole way back just to get a couple of hours to connect with you in the evenings and get some support or insight. When you do not focus on them, it hurts their thoughts. It may make them feel like your mobile or work is more important than them. Children are psychologically healthier when they get encouragement from their parents and interfering with them can result in a long-standing effect on their mind.
Reduces Facial interaction
Newborns and small children learn by face-to-face relationships between them and their parents. It is important for early development of a child’s brain as this is one-way babies first understand how to speak. A strong visual interaction is necessary for the child to realize your role and connect with you in a way that they do not with others. Infants do not really understand the language but they can understand your eyes, your face and your attention. Taking this away from them can affect your relationship with them. In case a parent or guardian spends less time interacting face-to-face with her child, it may also have an effect on the child’s vocabulary. Quite simply, the more you speak to your baby face-to-face, the higher the chances that your child will learn new words.
Decrease Psychological links
When more and more time meant to be spent with your children is passed dedicated to a screen, you lose occasions to emotionally link with your children. They not only miss your conversations, they miss your smiles, laughs, and other thoughts as well. This creates a barrier between you and your child, which can be very disturbing. The problem is that once it is set up, taking it down becomes an impossibility. You might have to work extra to regain that connection with your child. However, it will never be like the link that you could have had if you put down your phone initially.
Your Kids are not as safe
Many times parents end up making rash decisions, simply because of neglect. If texting and driving a car is unsafe, it is obvious that texting and parenting may be unsafe as well. Parents who are sidetracked by their mobile phones may not be properly supervising their children. This exposes your child to innumerable dangers. A simple art project may turn into a disaster if you do not supervise. You need to put your screen down and realize the extent of dangers around you. Not only are you jeopardizing your child’s mental health but you are risking their physical wellbeing as well!
The many reasons to put down a screen are more than enough to highlight the severity of the problem at hand. When it is a question of the well-being of your child, the answer is evident. Nothing harms in moderation. You cannot just cut off your social world! However, you need to find a balance and the right time! Your child at that restaurant table needs your attention! It is their time out after all and they have a right to all the talk and attention they can get!