Here are the negative consequences on the child of excessive use of telephones by parents

Here are the negative consequences on the child of excessive use of telephones by parents

According to Erin Leyba, a specialist in parenting and couple life, looking at your phone or iPad with your family is not a very good idea: children’s development would be affected.

Responding to a text message in front of your child is not trivial. Besides the fact that you show him that said object is more interesting than everything else, this time spent on the phone leads to a reduction in parental responsiveness and a delay in emotional development in little ones. Explanations.

The telephone leads to a lack of parent-child interactivity

While we spend an average of 6 hours and 58 minutes a day on connected screens, children are proving to be the first silent victims of this “technoference” – a phenomenon described by researchers as “usual interference and disruption in interpersonal relationships or time spent together due to the use of electronic devices“.

Thus, as Erin Leyba, specialist in parenting and couple life, points out to Psychology Todayexcessive use of the phone in front of children has many consequences, such as:

  • A decrease in parental responsiveness. When parents use their phone, they respond on average five times less to their children. Furthermore, parents’ reactions are “weaker” et “later“.
  • A lack of interaction. Because of screens, parents are more likely to ignore children’s reactions.
  • An overall decrease in parental sensitivity. Other collateral damage caused by screens: parents are less “sensitive” towards the reactions and actions of toddlers under 5 years old.
  • Lower emotional intelligence in children. A study carried out on children under 5 years old confirms that children whose parents are regularly in front of screens have lower emotional intelligence.
  • A more unhappy childhood. A 2021 study assures that babies show more negative emotional signs and fewer positive signs when parents use their phones.
  • Mental health problems. Adolescents who experience technoference are at greater risk for depression and anxiety.

Telephone with family: what good resolutions to adopt?

Erin Leyba, specialist in parenting and couple life, with Psychology Today, recommends spending time in nature. Going for a walk allows you to leave your cell phone behind for a few (precious) hours.

Enable the feature “Do not disturb” throughout the day and only checking your notifications three times a day at key moments also allows you to disconnect. A 2019 study also confirmed that this method quickly bore fruit: participants felt more attentive, more productive, in a better mood and had better “control” of their phone addiction. They also said they felt “less stress” and had “fewer telephone interruptions”.

Finally, establishing moments of life without a phone – such as during dinner or certain family activities – is a good way to enjoy your children.