It will be a lie if I say I have never been an example of distracted parenting. Last night while my 5 year old came to me with her puppy dog eye for another gummy bear, I knew in my head she needed sleep, but I ignored it for a few minutes as I had been distracted watching my favorite TV show.Yes we all has little or more wondered about Distracted parenting and it’s woes.This term distracted parenting gets most of the parents off guard. What is it? Why is it so guilt evoking! A few researches have been made on it and results are quite coherent.
Parents are distracted
Dr. Jenny Radesky co writer of the policy of American Academy of Pediatrics and a developmental behavioral pediatrician at University of Michigan says- “I think the term distracted is so loaded” she said parenting young kids is extremely exhausting for adult brain, so it is only normal for parents to seek relief by talking or texting to a friend or engaging in any other remote activity with an adult.
She acknowledges the fact that In early years of parenting ,parents seem to attend call or text or be engaged in screen time in presence of their children because parents become prone to destructibility. Luvs survey was conducted by Wakefield research on 500 American mom in 2006
Those years moves in slow motion, as parenting becomes an old job much before children grows old.
Percentage of distracted parent
American Academy of Pediatrics studied 55 caregivers and their children
in fast-food restaurants, over Boston. Result clearly suggested 44 parents used devices during meal.16 used devices without any break.Children were not happy with the situation and fought for their caregivers attention.So as a result some of them were returned with harsh word.
Distracted parenting has long-term impact
Translational Psychiatry scientists showed distracted parenting can actually hamper your child’s sense on enjoying pleasure.
Dr. Tallie Baram, (professor of pediatrics & anatomy-neurobiology at University of California) and her colleagues placed some rats and their mother in cages where nesting and breeding material was insufficient and another such group was placed at a cage with sufficient condition.
As a result those mothers with insufficient environment kept on running and finding ways to provide sufficient surrounding. They gave babies equal time as the other group but their concentration was interrupted.
When the newborns grew older the group with interrupted attention from mother showed less interest in taking sugar or playing with other rats (a perimeter to measure their sense of pleasure and proxy of emotional development)
So it was proven very practically among rats that distracted parenting some how effected their sense of enjoying pleasure and emotional development in long run.
Barram says-It is not what amount of time or attention a parent gives a child it is more about a pattern. If there is a routine than a child knows when food to eat, when mom will read a story, when to go out for a game, or what is the time to sleep.
Occasional disruption during a chat with mom, during eating the meal or some other activity by a cell phone ringing or other device engagement can leave the child perplexed of what to expect next. Such disruption makes a long term hollow and make him unable to sense pleasure accordingly in later years.Studies shows such poor development pattern can cause anxiety and depression in later years too.
Sources of destruction
In a Magazine’s annual State of the Kid Survey of 6- to 12-year olds. Question was asked on –
Was their parent distracted when they tried talking to them?
Response is showed in the graph
How to be not destructed
In this device dominated age where we live to excel in multitasking, it is fairly unreasonable to ask parent to ditch their devices at home. It may not be feasible in most cases. But what is feasible is being concerned to not loose attention when children are expecting attention.
Device free Zone-
Make your kids room or dinner table a device free zone.You will not enter their with a mind set to lent your mind somewhere else while your kid is with you.
Device free time is vital to get away distracted parenting and it’s woes-
Almost like device free time. Studies shows some times are more important for bonding than other. Like bed time, meal time, driving time (for safety as well).
SO if those time we could let the cell phone put on voice mail than surely some consistency can be introduced in our life pattern where our kids look for example.
Did you ever get irritated to open the door to your spouse or relative only to find them talking or texting in cell? I have and study shows these reunion time when you meet someone after a while are very important for bonding.
It is only more applicable for parent –kid bonding. So after their school or your office when you first meet them take the opportunity to talk to them and know about their day, keeping the cell phone on silent mode.
Our parents had been destructed too, Tv or any other screen time can also cause Distracted parenting and it’s woes however science shows interactive devices causes more destruction. So let us face the paradox of this speedy life and embrace the parenthood with as much concentration as we can.