Smartphones Causing Distracted Parenting; Children To Miss Developmental Milestones Without Full Parental Attention

By Jerico Ngo, Parent Herald January 08, 05:40 am

Parents are now getting increasingly younger these days and that may mean that they are more adept with the use of technology. Studies show that parents who spend too much time on their phone may deprive their child's developing brain of important developmental signals.

According to TIME, taking care of a child is one of the most hands-on thing a person can ever do. However, the constant beeping of an ever-present cellphone may serve as a massive distraction while doing so. The growth of a young child requires a parent's full attention, so it may be for the best to put down that mobile phone from time to time.

This is exactly what the results of a new study from the Translational Psychiatry journal show. The study finds that "distracted parental attention may sometimes have detrimental effects on babies' development, especially their ability to process pleasure." Although the study was animal-based (the researchers made use of rats in their study), one of the senior researchers says there are still large-scale implications towards parent-child interactions in today's world.

The study was conducted by Dr. Tallie Baram and her colleagues from the University of California Irvine. Dr. Baram and her team's study show that there is a crucial point wherein an offspring needs their parent's utmost attention. This is so they can learn that they will eat at a certain time every day, for example. If the parent tasked with taking care of a child is always on his or her phone then there is a chance that there will be a delay before the child learns such things.

"What we are proposing is that there is a sensitive period in which maternal care needs to provide consistent patterns and sequences of behavior so the baby's brain can perceive them to develop normally emotionally," Dr. Baram says.


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