Recently, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan looked at how parents affect their children by using technology. When a parent spends more time on their phone and other devices, they end up having less meaningful interactions with their children. The child feels frustrated when their parent relationship is interrupted by technology.
When a parent uses devices a lot, the child has to do something to get their parent’s attention again. Often, this means that the child acts out in a negative way to get attention. The recent study basically shows what most people intuitively know. Technology use can affect interpersonal relationships in a negative way.
The study was conducted by examining 170 two-parent homes with children just over 3 in the U.S. Parents answered questions regarding their technology usage habits. How often, how long, and how they use them. The study focused on interrupted family time, such as texting or spending time online during play or mealtimes.
Parents were also asked to answer questions about their child’s behaviour, whether they were irritable, whiny, grumpy or badly behaved within the two months prior to the study. Researchers factored in family income, educations, stress, anxiety, and other possible factors outside of technology, then examined the relationship between family time interruptions and child behaviour.
Though further research is needed to see if there is a direct correlation between parental technology use and child behaviour, the study has shown that there is certainly a relationship. The mother’s technology use is especially important when it comes to behaviour.
Other Health Effects Of Too Much Screen Time
Spending too much time in front of the screen and in a virtual world can have many other negative impacts besides ‘bad behaviour.’ Some of these negative impacts include:
- Vision and eye health problems
- Depression and other mental health problems
- Brain developmental and learning difficulties
- Neck, back, and other musculoskeletal problems as a result of poor posture
- Cardiovascular health problems
- Risk of diabetes
- Attention-deficit problems
- Sleep problems
- Obesity and being overweight