The Hazards of Distracted Parenting

The Hazards of Distracted Parenting Find more family blogs at Families.comHumans can become distracted every now and again. Parents are only human and cannot be hyper focused on their children every second. There is a difference from a moment of distraction and a pattern of it. Be aware of the hazards of distracted parenting.

It has become common for people to spend time looking at the screens of their smartphones while they are outside. Some people are recording video, and taking photos, to preserve memories. Smartphones make it easy to share a fun trip to the zoo with a grandmother who lives far away.

That scenario can be fun way to interact with your child and the child’s grandmother while you are out doing something fun. It’s a nice way to make memories with your kid. Unfortunately, there are parents who are distracted by their smartphone the entire time they are with their child. There are hazards of distracted parenting.

Accidents Happen
A parent who plays with their kids at the playground – pushing them on the swings, racing them around the park – has the opportunity to keep their child safe. Accidents can still happen, but the parent who is right there can immediately console their child, assess damage, and call an ambulance if needed.

A distracted parent won’t know their child is about to do something dangerous until it is too late. Their child might remember yelling for mom or dad – and that the parent was looking at their smartphone.

Kids Learn Language from Parents
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that a developing child needs “laps not apps”. In short, they recommend that parents take the time to play with their toddlers and preschoolers (instead of letting a screen entertain them).

Little ones need to hear spoken language, to have examples that connect words to objects, and to understand the “taking turns” that conversation requires. Young kids that are immersed in language tend to be more prepared for school. Parents who spend a lot of time looking at their smartphones are not giving their toddlers what they need.

Children Mimic their Parent’s Behavior
Tweens and teens who often see their parents eating dinner while staring at at their smartphones are going to expect that this is normal and that they can do it, too. Dinner time is an excellent time for parents and their children to share their day, to discuss interesting topics, and to spend time together.

Parents who habitually stare at their smartphones during dinner are distracted. They are not giving their children the attention and interaction they need. This distraction could prevent kids from bringing up topics, or asking questions, that are on their minds.

Related Articles at

* Re-Evaluating Your Family Media Boundaries this Summer

* Technology is a Poor Substitute for Social Interaction

* How to Unplug Your Kids and Encourage Family Interaction