September 5, 2017 – Kids know parents are ‘digitally distracted’, and the impact is being felt
I’ve always considered myself lucky to have a flexible work arrangement, which means I can be at home with my three children each afternoon when the school bus pulls up.
But I’ve developed a terrible habit.
I justify being on my phone and computer constantly, because I’m working. And I’m rarely ever completely focused on my kids.
Still, it’s not all bad.
I think it’s a positive for my children to see me working and to be aware of how hard their dad and I do work.
Plus it’s great to have a flexible work arrangement.
But being at home with my children while distracted, isn’t as good as being a home and being well and truly focused on them.
My teenager, Philip, 13, doesn’t want me to be focused on him. If anything, he wants his space at the moment.
But I could certainly make more of an effort with Giovanni, nine, and Caterina, eight, even if just for an hour each afternoon.
A recent study by paediatrician Dr. Jenny Radesky found that a massive 62 percent of children feel their parents are “digitally distracted” while they are talking to them, which makes me feel quite sad.
“Many children are also consumed by their own devices, with the combination coming to significantly re-shape traditional family dynamics and, in some cases, even negatively impacting the relationship between parents and their kids,” she concluded.
Dr. Radesky says this issue can lead children to misbehave out of “a sense of frustration” because they have to “compete” for parental attention.