Distracted parenting and it’s woes

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Distracted parenting and it’s woos

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

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
In early years of parenting time creeps as parent find it very exhausting to constantly attend the kid

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

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Parents need breaks

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

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
put cell phone down study

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.

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Distracted rats raised baby rats with less emotional development and low sensitivity to pleasure

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.

distracted parenting and it's woos
distracted parenting can cause long term hazard

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.

Disrupted parenting and it's woes
Cell phone interruption can cause the other party feel neglected

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

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Seems like Cell phones causes maximum destruction and most powerful distruction

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-

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Some places should be made cell 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).

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Dinner tables are great time to bond so let not the opportunity slip by absorbed in devices

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.

Re-union time

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.

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
reunion times are to be given importance as time to bond

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.

Distracted parenting and it’s woes
Let us be more concerned about not being distracted

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.

Make children listen

There is no guarantee even for the one who did masters on parenting to cover all the bases of good parenting. Every grownup is raised in certain way, with parents having  some (if not most) differences, Still the commitment and uniformity of parents in judgments stumps impact in a child. I have a vision about parenting that is a united form of my research, perception and take from my parents. We all have this hit and miss parental dos and don’ts that are carried to us from the parents.We take it forward to the next generations. So rather than worrying How to make children listen , it will more helpful to start the process as soon as possible.

Set an example-

I was watching a cricket match the other day and soon found my 1 year old who hardly started speaking was raising his hand showing his index finger to utter the word ‘OUT’. Yes he was copying the player’s urge.They start copying even earlier than that. What they see most, they do most. As they watch us as the most visible grownups around them they do copy us. This way it becomes easier for parent to make children listen to them if they do things consciously in front of kids.

 make children listen
Set an example

If we are not exhibiting kindness, bravery, maturity, attentiveness we are better not to expect those traits from them.

Practice good habits-

Darren Mays public health researcher with the Cancer Prevention & Control Program  says in a study “Our analysis showed that the longer adolescents are exposed to a parent’s smoking when the parent is addicted to nicotine, the more likely they are to begin smoking and to become regular smokers in the future,” It was also found that children with a smoking parent has 10 time more chance to smoke or try smoking than a child from non smoking parent.

how to make children listen to you
Practice good habits

We expect our children to eat veggies, watch less tv, engage with us more than engage with gadgets. However when we are to do the same we cannot always be conscious enough to love us so much to take good care of ourselves and change bad habits. So while trying to make children listen we are to try healthy habits too, as we are their first role models.

Be there to love-

We the parents by nature are more or less the most care giving people on earth to our children. Still there are moments when we cannot keep a promise or put our children first .The less such number of events occurs are the better. Because to raise a confident child with strong self esteem we need to build a secure and dependable base.

A British child psychiatrist John Bowlby shows that a “secure base” is one of the most necessary things to raise a confident kid with high self esteem. He showed in his research that the loving and trusting relationship between a parent and child gives him the signal of a trusted environment, where he feels free to move and explore.

Show accountability in your child’s presence-

We cannot always have the best self control. There are times when we lash out or behave improperly in front of kids. In such circumstances best solution is to let him know that it was wrong though it was done by us. Like we can start a conversation –“I think I should have been more active in helping your mom to do the dishes” or “I wish I did not skip bath the other day, taking a bath every day reenergize me.”

How to make children listen to you
acknowledge mistakes

If we engage our children into such conversation we are reinforcing them into wish full thinking and letting them know even matured people have room for betterment.

Engraving faithfulness

Loyalty or faithfulness is one hard to engrave quality in people. Especially in today’s world when our child’s best friends are virtual characters in games. To practice sense of loyalty and bonding we need to share the glorious stories of our country and history with our children. Need to show how important friends are at their trying times.

how to make children listen to you
Engrave loyalty

However we need to be aware of not confusing loyalty with misplaced loyalty. We need not to indulge our children with unnecessary pleasure items whether it’s a food or a toy just to show our love or loyalty.

Keep promise and be the strong shoulder-

To raise a dependable child again we need to set forth an example. If we fulfill promises made to them they will learn the value of keeping word. It also requires us to come forward for our family, friends or other people who need us most at their time of need.

Be a parent

Though after a point children want more freedom and privacy but while giving them space we need not to transform into their dream parent .Because irrespective of the fact that they have grown, as a parent our job is to be observant and to be careful so that they are not harmed any way. However we need to make our position acceptable too by letting them know we only mean good and do, whatever they find as annoying for their safety.

How to make children listen to youLet them know good and evil co exist

Children are pure and trusting. As parent we want them to be positive but letting them aware of the presence of unreliability is also crucial. For example, at a super store one can tell his kid-“Hey both this toothpaste claims to be no 1, but how can both be number one at a time? I guess that one or both of them are not telling the full truth”

how to make children listen to you
Its wise let them aware not everything is pure and good

Be consistent in implementing consequences

It is not possible to expect right manner and good behavior from a child when we ourselves let them get away with mistakes and bench of trusts. Children understand consistency and when we do not show consistency on reaction they get confused. At times it may seem hard to implement a consequence but without enforcing it they will be misguided.

While enforcing consistent consequences through cause and effect mechanism, certain things should be taken into consideration


What we like and dislike; what we perceive as normal or abnormal greatly depend on what we have so far experienced. The habits that we have had till childhood are more or less our lifetime companion. So if we want our children to have a saving habit, thoughtful eating habit or any other good practices which we value than we should try to engrave them from very tender age; in an age appropriate manner. For example-My spouse taught my daughter to clean the toilet sit cover with tissue before using it at an age of three .With so many lessons she received some of which she chose to ignore with some she liked to keep, this one was somehow rooted down.So sooner the better completely goes with cultivating the good habits or stopping bad habits to grow (like-nail biting, swearing) .

No matter how obnoxious we behave with an irritating sales person over phone, how insensitively we ignore a plea of donation for a sick child in internet. We expect our children to be always polite, nice and kind. For ages all parents were inquisitive about ‘How to make children listen to you’. However it is more often ‘Us’ who come in our way to good parenting and setting good example as a role model.