Sponsored by Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System
Parent Phone Usage
We’re on our phones all of the time, and some of us are more connected than ever before. Many of us are on our phones subconsciously. It’s the first thing we do in the morning, and the last thing we do before we sleep.
Lauren English, a licensed professional counselor and business development representative with Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare, outlines some of the reasons that parents should put down the phone and pick up their child.
• When a parent is on their phone, children are less likely to explore their environment and are more likely to act out in order to get attention
English advises thinking about the last time your child acted out and to try to identify some of the factors that may have forced the child to act out. For some parents more than others, it might be because children are lonely, or think that they are having to compete with your phone to get adequate attention.
• Distracted parental attention can harm children’s social and emotional development
English shares that distracted parents are less predictable, reliant and attentive. This can not only lead to the increased likelihood of harm to a child in extreme circumstances but constant emotional neglect on a day-to-day basis.
• Children are missing out on important developmental milestones gained from observation
Children learn social skills and pick up on emotional cues by observing the adults in their lives, from emotional reactions, facial expressions, social settings at home. The opportunities to glean social and emotional nuances are not available when an adult is distracted by their phone.
• Children report feeling sad, angry and lonely when asked about their parents’ phone use
According to studies conducted with kids from the ages of 4 to 18, many children have expressed negative emotions towards their parents’ phone usage. Additionally, these children also say that they feel bored or like they’re having to compete with their parents’ phones.
Now that it’s summertime, English advises parents to put their phones away and spend more time with their children.