If you’re a parent reading this on your iPhone while your kids are playing, you might want to put it down and pay them some attention.
Academics have said that parents’ technology and social media addictions are responsible for making children disruptive.
A small study from an American university found that the children of parents whose use a lot of technology that interrupted family time were more likely to display bad behavior including “oversensitivity, hot tempers, hyperactivity and whining.”
“We know that parents’ responsiveness to their kids changes when they are using mobile technology and that their device use may be associated with less-than-ideal interactions with their children,” said Jenny Radesky, a child behavior expert and pediatrician at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“It’s really difficult to toggle attention between all of the important and attention-grabbing information contained in these devices, with social and emotional information from our children, and process them both effectively at the same time.”
Radesky asked 170 moms and dads from two-parent households about their use of technology.
She found an “association between greater digital technology use and potential relationship dysfunction between parents and their children.”
Parents were asked about how often they checked their phone or used other gadgets.
They then told researchers how often their children “whined, sulked, easily got frustrated, had tantrums or showed signs of hyperactivity or restlessness.”
To make sure the experiment was fair, Radesky considered other factors including parents’ income, stress levels and level of education when assessing a child’s behavior.
She found that even “low or seemingly normal amounts of tech-related interruptions” were linked with greater child behavior problems.
Radesky advised parents to restrict their use of technology and focus on playing with their…