Have you ever eaten a meal with a spouse or friend and had them pull their phone out to text, or worse yet, answer a call while you are talking? How does that make you feel? Ignored, a bit stupid and maybe even sad.
Now intensify those feelings threefold and you will understand how your child feels when you pull out your cell phone in front of him. He feels ignored, unimportant and unworthy of your attention. If this happens routinely, he even learns to feel unloved.
Dr. Jenny Radesky from Boston Medical Center recently released a study on the effects cell phone use by parents or caregivers had on their children. Not surprisingly, the study revealed that when parents used their phones in front of their children, the children exhibited behaviors where they tried to get their parent’s attention.
The study also found that parents often showed annoyance at children when they were interrupted from their phones. And the little interaction that parents or caregivers had with their children were more negative or harsh.
As a pediatrician who believes that children need to form strong attachments to parents during their first five years of life in order to have a strong sense of security throughout their lives, this study breaks my heart.