Distracted Parenting A New-Found Phenomenon, So Why Are Parents Doing it?
Distracted parenting is a new-found phenomenon amongst parents and it is something most parents would never admit to doing. It is a concept many parents would feel humiliated to admit they do but it is something parents should realise may cause problems. Distracted parenting is parental overuse of handheld devices especially phones or tablets in the company of children. Now we are not talking about a few minutes checking in social media pages but instead, we are talking about hours of sitting on deviceswhile your kids watch TV or play around the house. It is when parents ignore their children in the fear of missing out on anything on social media or in news/blog articles. By this new and innovative changes to our lives, we have become reliant on digital devices to socialise and connect with others, yet we are commonly forgetting those in front of us. Furthermore, children are not the only people affected by reliance on tech devices as partners now spend evenings on their own device without barely speaking to one another. Distraction is a terrible thing and can lead to breakdowns in communication and isolation from the real world.
Sadly, this is a prevalent problem and as you visit parks, the beach or child play centres there is one thing that will be a common thread – parents on phones or on some sort of device whether it is a laptop or tablet. Whether working or not, distracted parenting is common, and it is potentially causing children accidents though it is hard to comprehend this is the case. Let’s take a minute to consider how distracted parenting effects children and using devices around kids is teaching them that it is perfectly normal to sit on devices and rely upon them for entertainment and socialising. Children require quite a lot of attention and they need this for their basic emotional and physical needs, yet a lot of parents are ignoring their kids in favour of devices. It is something that is not badly intended by parents and no parent would do this deliberately, but we know how addictive devices are and how modern life is dictated by devices and social media. Toddlers and youngsters especially may suffer from distracted parents as they are learning how to talk, walk and socialise so without their parents to offer them the lessons they need through chats, play and cuddles they may not learn in the way we did as kiddies. This may lead to bad behaviour in the later years and children may feel like they are competing with their parent’s phone for their attention. Kids may not realise how engaging these devices are and consider themselves unimportant if their parent finds a phone more interesting than them.
No parent will always be fully attentive to their child and that is ok, but it is vital that we put down the devices and pay attention to the little people in front of us. Imagine being a child again and do you remember the great memories from your childhood – what are they? Now consider your child being asked the same question in years to come, will they remember parents stuck into their phones without much attention being paid to them? Balancing the phone and your kid is important. Leave the screens till the children are in bed or make a rule that you spend time playing with your nipper before scrolling on devices. If you’re out and about give your child lots of one on one time so they don’t have an accident or feel forgotten because you are on your phone!
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.emmamadjotters.com.