Play With Me, Not your Smart Phones

We often hear about the dangers of screen time for our children, but have you considered how your use of smart phones is affecting the development of your child?
In this digital age, it is not uncommon for us to rely on our smart phones for our daily tasks. However, how often do you find yourself distracted or ignoring your child just for a moment, while you check that email or Facebook notification?

Studies from 1975 by Developmental Psychologist, Edward Tronick revealed the consequences of an expressionless mother, and how it affected her infant child. Within a few minutes of the interaction between an expressionless mother and her child, the child began to grow wary, withdrawn and turned their body away from their mother. The child was also reported to become distressed and be less likely to explore their environment.

Jumping back to 2019, this scenario can be replicated on nearly a daily basis! Mothers and fathers holding their babies in their arms, but face, expressionless, as they stare at their smart phone.

Further studies have also revealed that with the decreased amount of quality face-to-face interaction with primary caregivers, children have poorer social competence, and less verbal skills. They are also reported to have lower emotional understanding, and a greater increase of challenging behaviours.

It is understandable that balancing our child’s need with our own can always be difficult. Smart phones are not only used for important tasks, such as work, but can also provide stress relief in our busy lives. We can agree that focusing our efforts on reducing our children’s screen time is a lot easier than for us to manage our own usage.

Bringing awareness to this issue is the first step, but what actions can we take? We understand that throwing away our smart phones isn’t possible, so let’s step back and ensure that when we are there physically, we are also there emotionally.

So, when you are with your child, put down your phone and play with them!

Play With Me, Not your Smart Phones