Distracted parenting is increasingly common in many homes, as cell phones have taken center stage. How does this affect children? We tell you about it below.
have you ever stopped to think about how much time you spend on your cell phone, without paying attention to your children? Parents are often unaware of this and think it is harmless. But this phenomenon is known as distracted parenting and has a strong impact on children’s development.
You are probably familiar with some of these phrases: “wait, it’s just a moment”, “I can do both things at the same time”, “I’m listening to you”. This is because they very often accompany the children’s call while you are looking at your cell phone.
The problem is that this gesture, which appears to be something minor, can be very harmful to the little ones. Children need their parents’ attention, body, mind and soul. For this reason, we are going to tell you what to do so as not to affect your children’s upbringing.
what is distracted parenting?
what do we mean when we talk about distracted parenting? To parents who, while spending time with their children or taking care of them, don’t stop looking at their cell phones. They check their social networks, their email or simply, they are more focused on their phone than on their child.
Let’s take an example of a distracted parenting situation. Our child shows us how to do an exercise and tells us “look, mom, dad, what I’m doing”, but receives no response. “Mom, Dad, are you watching me?”. We dads, who were completely disconnected from the situation and focused on our cell phone, reply that he has done very well without seeing it, to get it out of the way and go back to the smartphone.
Although it may seem a bit cruel, it is a situation that is experienced very often in hundreds of homes. That’s why it’s important that we attend to our children and put screens aside when we’re with them.
how does distracted parenting affect children?
These actions, which seem harmless, can hide a great risk in the emotional development of the little ones. Therefore, do not forget that if you practice distracted parenting, your child can be harmed. We tell you how.
It damages their self-esteem and their feeling of worthiness
If we are with a person (friend, family member, partner) who, instead of talking to us and looking at us, spends all his time looking at his cell phone, what will we think? Well, that we are not valuable to him or her.
Children receive exactly the same message when their parents are more concerned about their cell phones than about them . This negatively affects their self-esteem and their sense of worth.
It favors the loss of the bond between parents and children
Distracted parenting turns parents into absent parents for their children.
When we are on our cell phones, we don’t play or interact with our children. If this is prolonged over time, it can lead to a loss of bonding, because if kids assume their parents are not paying attention to them, they disconnect from them as well.
Sets a bad example
We all know that excessive use of technology affects the brain, especially the developing ones.
Therefore, it makes no sense for us to tell them not to abuse screens or to limit their use, if we are going to be glued to our cell phones all day long. We must not forget that children learn from our examples and that they end up following our steps.
Increase attention calls
Although each child is different and everything depends on the individual character, there are children who seek to attract the attention of their parents when they receive a distracted upbringing. How do they do it? In general, through inappropriate behaviors, such as defiance or disobedience.
In the youngest children, tantrums are usually common, which are the resource of excellence to get parental attention.
Promotes the loss of interest and communication in the family
The constant flow of information from social networks, which are designed to create addition, causes us to need continuous stimulation to keep our attention.
Thus, when our children talk to us about things that are not interesting, we tend to disconnect and pick up the cell phone, without being very aware of this.
In addition to this, communication in the family is also affected, since we are more aware of the notifications we receive than of the conversations with our children.
About distracted parenting, we can say…
Now that you know what distracted parenting is, you should try to avoid it in your daily life with your children. Children need us to pay attention to them and not to answer their questions with automatic answers. We have to make them feel that what they ask us, tell us or teach us is the most important thing for us.
This way, they will feel important, valued and respected by us. Therefore, turn off the phone when you are with your child, establish times and places disconnected from technology and relate to them without distractions. It’s not that hard when you try.