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The dangers of distracted parenting

The dangers of distracted parenting
Contributor
Family, Self

We work all the time, then spend an additional number of hours on social media.

It is no secret that we live in an age where information is more than abundant. We use a number of devices on a regular basis, including smartphones, tablets and laptops. This technology has facilitated our lives but, at the same time, it keeps us permanently connected. We work all the time, then spend an additional number of hours on social media. This never-ending cycle has a definite influence on the relationship with our children, with distracted parenting being quite a serious matter.  


The dangers of distracted parenting
Parents are among the greatest consumers of media, whether for personal or professional reasons. The concept of distracted parenting has been proposed as scientists have noticed that parents often end up ignoring their children, in the favor of handheld devices. The overuse of such devices in the presence of children presents obvious risks, especially for babies and toddlers.  


As the eyes are kept on the phone and not on the child, it should come as no surprise that the risk of injuries grows considerably. In fact, a lot of the injuries occurring on playgrounds have been connected to the inattention of parents, who are often drawn to social media.  


Apart from the obvious risk of injury, there are also other matters to be considered. When parents focus on the screen and not on their children, this can have a negative impact on their social and emotional development.  


Babies are particularly at risk for such developmental problems, as they rely on their parents for social interaction. Even since an early age, they are looking for social cues, looking the parents in the eyes. If the parent is not available, this will hinder the baby’s development, with subsequent delays.  


From another perspective, it has been determined that a parent distracted by handheld devices is more irritable. Being distracted by various forms of technology, parents are highly likely to provide a harsh response to the child’s behavior.  


What can be done?
The obvious solution is to reduce the amount of screen time. While we cannot forego technology altogether, this does not mean we should allow it to conquer our lives.  


When it comes to parenting teenagers, we need to communicate with them openly and discuss about their lives in a meaningful manner. We should set aside screen-free time, choosing activities that can be done together as a family. Keep in mind that teenagers are highly drawn to the same devices, so it is your job as a parent to teach them about using technology responsibly.  


In younger children, your mission is even more important. You are forming the adults of tomorrow and it is your responsibility to make sure they will turn out alright. So, you need to reduce the use of technology and respond to their needs. You are to set an example when it comes to media and the various devices they have access to; do not wait until they are older, otherwise it will be practically impossible to handle such matters.


Children will always take delight in the attention you provide. A wise person once said that a smartphone will remain small forever, while children have the tendency to grow. Well, you need to set the smartphone done and notice when your child is trying to connect with you. Moreover, you should reward the children’s positive behavior; appreciate them for being kind or friendly, and especially when demonstrating adequate education.  


As a parent, it is only normal to be stressed and feel the need to escape. However, you will never find the overuse of technology among the recommended parenting guidelines. You need to change your mindset and connect with your child in a normal manner. As mentioned, technology-free times should be part of the daily schedule; for example, you can have the meals together or read a story in bed.  


Distracted parenting is a common phenomenon nowadays and it is up to us, as parents, to put a stop to it. Whether we are raising tiny humans or teenagers, the responsibility remains the same. We need to stop looking into screens and notice our children. Of course, this does not mean we should go to extremes and dedicate all of our attention to them. Like many other things in life, moderation is key.  


In conclusion, you have to be aware of the dangers of distracted parenting and find a way to reduce your screen time. Spend time with your children, opt for outdoor activities whenever possible and make sure they understand that technology should only be used in moderation. Always remember that you are their role model; they will do exactly what they see. Respond to their needs, set time aside to engage in fun activities and ignore your phone or tablet more often. Technology should never play such an important role in your life, especially when you are a parent!

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