Your undivided attention is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your kids. But paying attention is becoming more and more of a challenge in the age of smartphones.
To be fair, smartphones can help make life easier. They give us ways to connect with friends, keep in contact with colleagues, run errands, do business, and it can even be a way to relax after a long day of work. (Chances are, you’re reading this article while on your smartphone.)
But like anything in excess, constant smartphone use also has its dangers. Not only does it have harmful effects on your sleep cycle, brain activity, and eyesight, it can also negatively affect your relationship with others.
Image source: iStock
Smartphone addiction is becoming so bad that a term was coined for it — nomophobia, or the fear of being without your phone for a prolonged (or even a short) period of time.
But possibly the most worrying side effect of being distracted by your phone is how it affects your kid’s emotions.
Mother Neglects Child in Favour of Her Smartphone, Child Confides in Teacher
Being so glued to your phone can make kids feel unimportant, a study has found.
A 2nd grader in the U.K. can vouch for these claims. The child recently confided in her teacher about her phone-distracted mum.
When asked in a test to write about an “invention he doesn’t like,” the child wrote about his mum’s phone.
“I don’t like the phone because my parent [is] on their phone every day. A phone is sometimes a really bad habit,” she writes.
Mother neglects child because of smartphone. A child confides in her teacher in a truly eye-opening viral post. | Screenshot: Jen Adams Beason Facebook page
“I hate my mom’s phone and I wish she never had one… that is an invention I don’t like,” the child continues.
The school-aged kid even drew cartoons to emphasise her dislike.
Concerned, her teacher, Jen Adams Beason, shared the child’s test paper, sharing how four out of her 21 students answered something similar.
The post is now going viral; it’s so far been shared over 245,000 times in less than a week.
Mother Neglects Child Because of Smartphone: Viral Post Sheds Light on Important Reminders
Parents should model responsible smartphone use to their growing kids. | Image courtesy: Dreamstime
The child’s plea is truly an eye-opener for parents who might not even be aware that their phone is robbing them of quality time with their kids.
“Wow. Out of the mouths of babes! We are all guilty!” wrote one user. While another wrote: “That is so sad and convicting. Great reminder for us all to put those phones down and engage with our kids more.”
There was also another teacher who shared her experience in the comments.
“We had a class discussion about Facebook and every single one of the students said their parents spend more time on Facebook then they do talking to their child. It was very eye-opening for me,” wrote Abbey Fauntleroy.
When a parent constantly chooses to focus on their phone, kids feel deprived of attention. More worrying still are previous studies that have found kids with cellphone-distracted parents are more at risk for accidents and injuries in the playground.
You might continue surfing the internet after you read this article, but don’t forget to put your phone away; look into your child’s eyes, and remember that focusing on them instead of on a screen should the most important thing part of your busy day.
Sources: BBC, Time
ALSO READ: Poor mental health linked to late-night phone use, says study