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Do YOU Use Your Phone Around Your Child?

Here's What Your Cellphone Is Doing to Your Kid

by Nicole Fabian-Weber

textingAt any given moment, at any given place, when you look around, people are staring down at their phones. It's as if their glowing screens hold the key to life. And sadly, many of these entranced people are parents -- with kids who are right nearby. It's no secret that the widespread use of smartphones and technology are, for lack of a better phrase, turning us into much crappier, awkward people. But think about the poor kids! How do you think our obsession with tiny devices is affecting them? (Hint: Not good.)

A new study has found that when parents who are out to eat with their children spend the majority of the meal looking at their phone, bad things happen. As in their kids start acting out (more than kids normally do at restaurants), and ruin the meal for everyone else around them.

That's not enough to make you put down your phone? Check out these other negative effects of using your phone around your kids.

1. Your phone is turning your child into a disobedient brat. Okay, I'm being hyperbolic. But researchers at the Boston Medical Center found that when parents whip out their phones when eating at a restaurant, particularly a fast food restaurant, their kids begin acting up. (IE, your phone addiction is ruining everyone in the whole place's meal!) "It’s just normal childhood behavior," said parenting coach Toni Schutta. "If I can’t get your attention in a positive way, I’m going seek it in a negative way."

2. Kids are losing their ability to read people. Because parents can spend up to a whopping 11 hours a day using electronic devices (ew!), their kids are getting worse at reading social cues. (How could they not be their when parents are perfunctorily answering their questions in a monotone voice while staring at their screen?!) Children in preschool and kindergarten have sadly become so accustomed to both their parents using their iPhones, etc., and using them themselves that they're they’re "just not getting that training" anymore, said Schutta.

3. Your smartphone is turning your child into a no-personality weirdo who refuses to talk. Okay, that's a mean way of phrasing it, but according to a recent study, when parents are constantly on their phones around their kids, children don't develop vocabulary as they otherwise would, because, duh, the key to children's conversational skills is having conversations. It's also been speculated by experts that kids' social and emotional skills are affected, in addition to their conversational ones. 

4. Kids who are constantly around texting parents are freaked out by other people! As we all know, the pervasiveness of communicating via text and email is causing many to lose social skills, but did you ever think of the impact it might be having on kids? During the course of a 15-year study of children ages 5 to early 20s, researchers found that the kids who grew up with technology actually feared (yes, feared!) interaction with others. (Remember when playing with other kids was the greatest thing on Earth?!) Many of the children in the study had become so accustomed to "talking" to their parents via texts that phone conversations even freaked them out!

5. When your nose is buried in your phone, your kid will get hurt. In recent years, ER injury visits for young kids have seen an unsettling upturn, and it's speculated that it's due to parents being distracted because of their phones. Think long and hard how you'd feel if your kid fell down and cut his head because you were looking at somebody's nails on Instagram. Not cool.

Do you use your phone around your child?

by on Apr. 22, 2014 at 1:49 PM
Replies (11-19):
by Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 12:51 PM
I use my phone for work and fun,but it's off during meal times or family events,nothing is more important than my kids and I can always call someone back later,to me there is a time an place for everything in life,if a call or text is important yes of course I grab it
by Gold Member on Apr. 23, 2014 at 3:03 PM

 same here

Quoting goddess99:

I use my cell as a normal phone and that's it. If it rings I answer it, sometimes.

But I see so many parents so engrossed by their phone, it's sickening.


by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 4:23 PM
1 mom liked this
Yes I do, although I try to minimize it I think all parents including me should minimize it a bit more..we don't do phones at any meal times, when we go to restaurants, it blows me away when I see all family members on phone or electronic devices or even when just the kids are on electronic devices,. That is suppose to be your conversation time interactive with you kids as well.. ive deleted games and social media sites on my phone because they tend to suck me in and take precious time that belongs to them.. hmm now I'm giving it a second thought about having cafemom.. btw not using phone in front of them right
by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 8:53 PM

No. My kids are grown now but my phone is still put away when we're together. I spent the afternoon with my daughter and never looked at my phone once. Later when I got home I checked it and had missed 7 calls. And yet, the world is still turning and I didn't miss anything that couldn't be dealt with later. My phone will never be a part of my time with my kids. That kind of interruption seems rude and unnecessary. When they were little I didn't even have a cell phone. I had no interest in one. 

by Unique Yanique on Apr. 23, 2014 at 10:10 PM
When I'm out and about with my boys, I don't use my phone. Even when it rings, all depending on who's calling, I barely answer.
But when I'm home with my boys, I'm on my cell phone a lot. Mostly on websites and texting.
by on Apr. 23, 2014 at 10:25 PM
1 mom liked this

I have no ability to make phone calls when my kids are around.  They take that as a cue that it is time to jump up and down and make as much noise as possible!!!!  I will admit, I am guilty of being on my phone a lot, but I usually don't do it at times when we are spending time together.  For example, we have a no cellphone rule at the dinner table, we just don't even bring them to the table, this includes restaurants.  I play on my phone a bit while I wait for them to get out of school, waiting in the line at the grocery store, while my littlest one is napping, sometimes when they are playing at the park... 

by Gold Member on Apr. 24, 2014 at 5:45 AM
I don't even own a smart phone.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Apr. 25, 2014 at 9:23 PM
The only way I see this harming a child to a severe level is them getting on social media and seeking out the people they meet online in person. Because kids ARE social.
by Member on Apr. 26, 2014 at 5:48 PM
Mine too. Yes I use my phone around dd, but does not mean I quit being a parent.

Quoting waytomanykids10: They need to come spend a day around my kids. They would totally ruin this study.
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