Smartphones are causing distracted parenting, says study

By Amanda Stewart,

Smartphones have been blamed for many things. Cancer, distracted driving, failing grades, lazy children, and now smartphones have gained the blame for “distracted parenting.”

This study was published in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers from the Boston Medical Center conducted a study in which they followed families at 15 fast food restaurants, according to News Day. The researchers observed interactions and reactions from the children when their parents were paying attention to their phones.

This study showed that 40 out of 55 families were completely absorbed in their smartphone while out at a family dinner. One third of the parents observed used their phones throughout the entire meal.

The researchers noticed that while a parent was looking at their phone, the child was more likely to try and get their parent’s attention. This was done by making noise, even trying to lift their parent’s face from the tablet or smartphone.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, some parents even tried to calm their child by giving them a digital device.

Researchers and experts say that parents should think of the information found in this study as a sign.

The study’s lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky says that, “The conclusion I wouldn’t draw from the study, is that we need to completely remove these devices when we are with our children. But it does raise the issue that we need to create boundaries for these devices when we are with our children.”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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