How parents' time on digital technology profoundly affects kids' development

Do you spend lots of time on your phone tweeting, Facebooking, Whatsapping and more? Do your kids shout' You're always on your phone!"

Time spent doing this may be time taken away from your kids.

Educational psychologist Melanie Hartgill explains the effect of this behaviour on your children.

She says the focus is always on children and technology and how much screen time is too much.

We very rarely turn it the other way around....and turning it the other way around is absolutely crucial.

Melanie Hartgill , educational psychologist

We are losing our relationship with our children because of technology and quite often, it's the parents on their technology and not just the children.

Melanie Hartgill , educational psychologist

The term that has been coined for it is 'techno-ference' - time spent on technology that interferes with time spent with your children.

And it starts from when they are absolute babies.

Melanie Hartgill , educational psychologist

She says she has seen a case, where a mother was breast feeding yet, had not glanced once at her baby and "her eyes were stuck on cell phone instead." Research has shown that newborn babies can see their mothers at that distance.

She says early eye contact with babies is crucial in healthy attachment developing.

Emotional attachment is not attained if children don't have mutual eye contact with their parents, and I don't think people realise how big a deal this really is.

Melanie Hartgill , educational psychologist

She says researchers are suggesting this behaviour is causing an evolutionary blip and could change the course of human civilisation because the majority of our brain growth occurs within the first three years.

Take a listen:


This article first appeared on 702 : How parents' time on digital technology profoundly affects kids' development


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