So the evidence is pretty near indisputable. (And warning: You may not like what you’re about to read.) That trusty old cell phone that you can’t live without? It may be undermining your ability to be a great (or even just a good enough) parent.
Here’s the data:
According to a Highlights Magazine annual State of the Kid Survey, 62 percent of kids aged 6-12 responded yes to the question, “Are your parents ever distracted when you are trying to talk to them?” Of those kids, 28 percent said the cell phone was the primary distraction.
A recent study observing families in fast food restaurants revealed that 40 out of 55 caregivers used their mobile device during the meal. Of those, the parents who were most focused on their cell phone tended to respond the most harshly to their kids.
Read more about the above in a great article by Eileen Kennedy-Moore here.
And if that isn’t compelling enough evidence, how about two additional studies that link happiness with checking that cell phone less often? UC Berkeley happiness researcher Christine Carter sites a recent study of Kent State University students who check their phones with high frequency. The result? Higher levels of distress during their leisure time.
Another study revealed that people who limit checking their emails to only three times a day (vs. the average of 15 times per day) were less tense and less stressed overall.
Read the full article (and some great ideas on how to reduce your cell phone dependence and how to avoid distracted parenting) here.