Kids resent parents who are glued to their phones, study finds
Parents, stop checking your cell phones.
That’s what children around the world would like to tell their parents, according to a survey by AVG Technologies. Researchers found that 54 percent of kids felt their parents checked their phones too often.
It’s not just kids who notice that the adults in their life are fixated on their phone screens, but also parents. According to the study, 52 percent of parents admitted they check their phones too frequently.
Of the 6,000 children surveyed, the findings showed:
- 36 percent of kids said their parents’ worst habit was getting distracted by their phones in the midst of a conversation.
- 32 percent of kids said this behavior made them feel unimportant.
- 28 percent of parents said they do not set a good example when it comes to cellphone use.
“With our kids picking up mobile devices at an increasingly younger age, it is really important that we set good habits within the home, early on,” said Tony Anscombe, senior security evangelist at AVG Technologies, in a news release. “Children take their cues from us for everything else, so it is only natural that they should do the same with device use. It can be hard to step away from your device at home, but with a quarter of parents telling us that they wished their child used their device less, they need to lead by example and consider how their behavior might be making their child feel.”
In Brazil, children were most unhappy with their parents cellphone use. Eighty-seven percent of kids said their parents used their phones too often, and 56 percent said they would like to confiscate their parents’ cellphones.
Dr. Aaron Traeger, a pediatrician with Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Ill., finds himself struggling with the “need” to be in touch all the time and says he has to be intentional about not getting wrapped up in checking his cellphone. To avoid being glued to your phone, he recommends keeping it tucked away with your wallet or keys, or placing it on your nightstand.
Cell phone distraction can even prevent parents from protecting their children in potentially hazardous situations, Dr. Traeger says.
“It is especially important to keep your phones completely out of your reach in high risk zones,” he says. “I consider those the pool or the park. In those situations, just keep your phone in the car or bottom of the stroller. Even if there are well-trained lifeguards on duty, it is your primary responsibility to make sure your kids are safe.”
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.