28 Sep

Parent’s Smartphone Addiction and Its impact on parenting.

Digital Addiction

So, last time when we discussed it was about Digital Addiction of your child and how it is a hurdle in his growth. But are you aware that parent’s smartphone addiction can cause serious behavioral issues in children?
We keep on blaming the children for the amount of time they spend on gadgets. But, do we as parents, self-examine and check the number of hours we spend on it.  

Do you know the time duration parents spend on their smartphones?

We know that children spend as much as three hours a day on gadgets, but parents are found engaged in their smartphones for the even longer duration. 
Adults check their smartphones at least 70-80 times a day. That means, approximately 7-8 times in an hour. This addiction can be of various types. It can be an urge to check messages, expecting a call or a message, checking social media posts, or playing a game.
Now those are the horrifying number, aren’t they?
Do you know how dangerously parent’s smartphone addiction can affect the children too? Let’s get to know how Parent’s smartphone addiction affects children behavior.

Impact on Children of Parent’s Smartphone Addiction-

Children Develop a negative attitude and less temperament.

One of the studies says that children develop the negative attitude and are found with less tolerance towards the disturbing situations. Parent’s smartphone addiction can lead children to have less emotional tolerance and lack of interest to get explored to the outside world.  It also adversely affects the parent-child relationship.

Children feel Unimportant in the Family.

Imagine a situation that your kid has done something great. For example, a great painting that he is proud of. He is excited when he comes back from school and wants to show it to you.  But, when he is next to you, you are more interested and busy checking photos on social site. What you think will impact the kid. He will feel unimportant. He constantly will have to compete with your gadgets to divert your attention to his painting. Their feeling of belongingness is decreased because they feel unimportant.

Impact on Emotional Development of the child.

Children feel sad and angry when they are left without the undivided attention. When parents do not pay attention to the children, they become agitated. Their willingness to share things with parents reduces and that makes them sad. It stops their positive emotional development. They are less explored by the positive feelings such as happiness, excitement or appreciation. Hence, it affects their social behavior too. Kids grow only when they receive constant, complete and focused attention.

Smartphone Addiction affects Healthy Parenting.

Parents are found more indulged in the smartphones, even on the dining tables. According to one researcher, the first thing parents do when they go for family dinner or lunch is checking their smartphones. They will just settle their kids and hop on to checking their phone. Updating on the social media about their outing.  They found getting irritated whenever the child tried to talk to them because their attention from phones was diverted. Kids may not listen to you but they watch you carefully and imitate you. So they will adopt the negative things too that parents do and it is not a healthy way of parenting.  
It is difficult to say that it’s a problem with the kid, but it’s time that we parents also take some responsibility for it.

How Parents can get rid of Smartphone addiction?

Give yourself a valid reason for checking phones.

Every time, you grab on to the phone, think and search for a valid reason. Ask yourself why you checked it? Was it really necessary to scroll down those social media pages now? What difference would it have made if I checked it later? How I could have utilized those few minutes in a better manner?  A lot of questions right? But, the answers will help reduce your engagement with smartphones.

Limit the usage.

If you had read our blog on Digital Addiction, it gives various tips on limiting the use of gadgets for children. The same rule must go for the entire family. Agreed that you may get important calls and emails, then decide on a schedule when maybe your children are not around. Plan a time according to the schedule of your children, consider them.  You may get uncomfortable and restless at the beginning but, it will help you in better parenting.

Ask someone to track your activities.

Find someone who can keep a track of what you are doing. It can be your spouse when at home, a colleague when at the office or a friend when you are just chilling out.  So basically, find someone who will be a great support to you and will help you get rid of this addiction.

Celebrate when you achieve.

Mark on the day when you strictly followed the schedule. Celebrate it. Share it with your friends and family. No, not on the messaging app. Meet them and tell. Do what will encourage you. The best will be sharing it with the children. Tell them how you managed to do it even with the busy schedules. It will inspire them too.  
When parents use smartphones in the presence of kids, it shows unattentiveness. Try and keep away all the toxic devices when your loving little soul is next to you. Give them the maximum love, that is all they want. Children are going to remember all those special moments that you spend with them. Now, it is totally in your hands how you make every possible moment as precious. And when you will do that, you will be a WOWParent.

Parenting Coach/Expert @ WOW Parenting Naren is a dreamer and a people lover. An unshakable optimist, he strives towards building a better world where everyone has a beautiful story to tell. He strongly believes that incredible parenting can change every human being’s life journey to something phenomenal. And that is his “Why” for building Wow Parenting.

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