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How Kids Suffer Due to the Digital Habits of Parents

Updated on October 27, 2016

According to a research done by the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, parents nowadays are spending more time on their computers and smartphones. Some of the parents do not listen even when their children ask for food. This means these parents are not able to balance the time they spend on their electronic devices and the time they are supposed to spend on their duties. Parents who were surveyed for the research admit that the information overload they face overwhelms them. They also find it difficult to withstand the constant pressure at their workplace.

Parents cannot be wronged because they do not want to miss the excitement they get out of engaging themselves with these gadgets that appear to be all-pervasive. But at the same time, they aver that the communications they receive on their smartphones and the information they come across on their computers influence their behavior and mood. For example, if they receive a bad news about some issue at their workplace, they try to concentrate on the emails or the messages. If children disturb them during such times, they are annoyed and even yell at them.

Karl Heinz Brisch, a scientist at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, points out that children who observe parents focusing on their mobile phones think that this forms an integral part of the ways people communicate. She adds that she has come across families in which every family member is busy browsing the Internet even when all of them are sitting together. This means these gadgets have taken a toll on real-life communication.

Children consider their parents as their role models and this includes how they embrace technology also. A lot of research has been conducted to prove this point. For example, if parents are in the habit of eating healthy, children also learn it. If parents respect the rules of the road, kids also learn it.

When kids observe that their parents remain glued to their computers or mobile phones, they may feel they are being ignored. This fact has been corroborated by Brisch, Head of the Department of Psychotherapy at the Haunersche children's hospital.
He says that the senses of young children are so well tuned that they can detect if words and actions do not match. Likewise, they can also detect if parents delay answering them due to distractions. Experts are of the firm opinion that if parents want their children to have good emotional and physical growth, they should develop closeness with the kids. Another point experts stress is that if there is no eye contact when parents answer their children, the kids may develop psychological problems.

Apart from responding in the right manner to children, parents should understand the types of digital messages that cause stress to them. If the messages are job-related, they should have a separate time for responding to them. This will help them in not directing their irritable behavior or anger towards the children.

It is true parents cannot be 100% perfect and be available to their kids all the time. But they should avoid being online when children need their help or attention.

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