Cell Phone Addicted Parents Could Have Negative Effects On Their Children's Development
Oct 24, 2018
Technology might be everywhere, but it is not always good for our health and happiness. We have technology in our pockets wherever we go, and it provides some benefits in our daily life. Unfortunately, it can also affect our relationships with our children.
Adult Screen Time Can Affect Children
While older adults like to complain about young people and their technology, parents are guilty of using technology as well. As more adults spend time on their tablets and phones, it is starting to impact their children. Scientists already know that children who spend hours using technology have worse physical and mental health. It turns out that a parent's usage of technology can also impact the child's health.
Recently, the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan looked at how parents affect their children by using technology. When a parent spends more time on their phone and other devices, they end up having less meaningful interactions with their children. The child feels frustrated when their parent relationship is interrupted by technology.
When a parent uses devices a lot, the child has to do something to get their parent's attention again. Often, this means that the child acts out in a negative way to get attention. The recent study basically shows what most people intuitively know. Technology use can affect interpersonal relationships in a negative way.
How the Study Works
The new study looked at 170 American homes with two parents and children over the age of three. The parents were asked to discuss their personal use of devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. They told the researchers about when they use them, how they use them and the duration of time spent on technology. The goal of the research was to see how technology usage impacts family time.istockphotos.com/LumineImages
Parents were also asked to discuss how often their child was hyperactive, irritable or grumpy. They reported every incident where the child whined or acted out in the last two months. Then, the researchers adjusted their results for factors like education, stress, income, and anxiety.
It turns out that even a small amount of time spent on technology is connected to children exhibiting behavioral problems. While researchers cannot say that technology causes behavioral issues, the study shows that the two factors are correlated. This is especially true for children and their mothers.
The Health Effects of Screen Time
Unfortunately, there are other negative effects of using too much technology. No matter how old you are, technology can end up affecting your health. Too much time spent using technology can impact your eye health, vision and sleep quality. It can lead to mental health problems like depression. Too much technology is linked to a higher risk of diabetes, learning disorders and brain development problems. It is also linked to cardiovascular issues and attention deficit problems.
The way you sit when you use technology can impact your back and neck health. Having a poor posture can end up causing pain and problems with your musculoskeletal system. While there are certainly benefits to using technology, too much screen time can impact your physical, mental and emotional health.
Protecting Your Family From Technology
You can protect your family by limiting how much time you spend online. Develop rules for your household about when everyone can use technology. One positive rule is to ban phones at the dinner table. Use your time together to listen to each other, share stories and have quality time. If you find it impossible to ignore your device completely, try setting it on airplane mode.istockphotos.com/Zinkevych
Instead of going to the movies or watching Netflix at night, plan out active, interesting activities instead. Try planning a game night with your children or take a hike together. These activities will help family members bond and provide lasting memories.
The best thing you can do is plan outdoor time for everyone. Being outside is good for your physical and mental health. It gives you a chance to be truly present in the moment. Plus, outdoor time will help your children to grow up to be happy, healthy adults.
There are benefits to technology, but too much time online can end up hurting your relationship with your children. As the recent study shows, it can also make your children more likely to act out. Kids are only small for a few years.
This time is important for their mental development, and it is also a chance for you to make lasting memories together. You do not have to get rid of technology entirely, but it is important to limit how often you use it.
If you think that your friends and loved ones devote too much time to their phones, make sure to show them the latest study on technology and children.
Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!