It is disturbing to know that a lot of parents are absent-mindedly ignoring their children because they are too distracted by their smartphones.
Children learn most things by observing their parents. If they see mommy and daddy scrolling away on their smartphones all day they will grow up to think this is normal behavior.
So many of us are addicted to our smartphones. We do not even realize how much time we are spending on them. When we are bored, we pick up the phone and read Facebook or the latest political tweet. This behavior as a parent is detrimental to our babies and toddlers development.
More and more studies are linked to early childhood development issues and the use of technology. Mommy is to busy looking at her phones and is missing cues coming from her baby. In the first stages of childhood before we can communicate with words body language, and cries are how we learn what the child needs. Babies look at our facial expressions to process information and even to determine speech. When they can’t read your emotions because you are in zombie mode on your smartphone, they are often confused and are acting out. If they could talk perhaps, they would be telling you to put down your phone and pick me up.
The Smartphone Nanny
When interviewing a babysitter or nanny, you should also set boundaries with your caregiver regarding the use of phones. I have seen plenty of nannies at the park glued to their phones instead of paying attention to the child. Yes, smartphones are a great way to stay in touch with your sitter and to receive pictures of the moments you are missing, but we need to spread awareness about this issue. If you are struggling with an addiction to your phone, put it down when it is family time.
If you are giving more attention to your devices than to your child, you should read this article. Have awareness around the use of your smartphones for yourself and your children.
Love Your Child, Not Your Smartphone
If you feel like you are addicted to your smartphone and feel guilty because you are missing moments with your child, know that you are not alone. Sometimes parenting can be tedious, and in this digital age, we are turning to our devices to help us pass the time. Are you tired of sitting around the train table pretending to have fun with your toddler? Have you have read the same Dr. Seuss book five times in the last hour? Children thrive on routine and repetition, it helps them learn, but for the parents, it can be maddening. Going to the park every day and sitting in the sandbox while Junior pushes his dump truck may not be very exciting at all, but it is so good for the child. In these dull moments, parents are picking up their phones out of habit and boredom. Instagram is far more exciting than watching your kid eat sand. I found this article from HuffPost Which gave some mindful and helpful tips to help you put that phone down.