The Dangerous Effects of ‘Texting and Parenting’

These days, we know a lot of exaserbated parents who are fed up with their teenagers’ constant texting, Facebooking, Tweeting and whatever else on their smartphones. But more and more, parents of younger children are becoming distracted by their phones, and it’s unsurprisingly having a pretty damaging effect not only on their children, but on parent-children relationships.

Sure, it can be difficult to avoid the lure of the Facebook Newsfeed or your captivating text conversation with a friend. But did you know that constantly using your phone in front of your children can have a direct negative impact on their growth?

It may not be that surprising, but according to a new study from Boston Medical Center, smartphone usage isn’t doing any favors for parent-child relationships. Specialist from the medical center recently went to a typical fast food restaurant to observe the behavior of adults and children in 55 groupings. Their findings confirmed their fears:

The data provided an unvarnished look at how absorbed many parents were by their devices. One child reached over in an attempt to lift his mother’s face while she looked down at a tablet, but to no avail. Another mother kicked her child under the table in response to the child’s various attempts to get her attention while she looked at her phone. A father responded in curt and irritated tones to his children’s escalating efforts to tear him away from his device.

The specialists were especially disappointed with how negative parents would get with their children while using their phones. The phones basically became a sort of competition for the children; the children were in constant competition with their parents’ smartphones for attention. And that just doesn’t seem fair to the kids.

You can read more about this study over at Time, but in light of this information, we’re curious to know your take on the topic. What do you think about smartphone use in front of your kids? Should there be certain phone-free times? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.