Children feel “sad”, “ignored” and “angry” about their parents’ mobile phone use.
“When my dad’s on the phone and I try to talk to him, he just ignores me,” said a year two student. “It makes me feel angry.”
Year one students agreed when asked whether their parents used their phones too much, reports ABC.
“I think it’s annoying and they always ignore you when they’re too much on the phone,” Ruby said.
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Lily said she felt “pretty sad” when her dad was constantly on his phone or computer.
“He’s always lazy, and when he’s lazy he always sits on his computer or his phone,” she said.
“And my mum asks him questions but he doesn’t even listen after the third one.”
Kate Highfield, a senior lecturer in education at Swinburne University, wasn’t surprised by the children’s responses.
“If you’re a child whose experience of using technology or screens is around watching media or playing games, you’re assuming that when you see your parents using technology that they’re doing exactly the same thing,” Dr Highfield said.
She insisted that good communication was key when it came to smartphone use and kids.
“Maybe we have to have conversations with our children about what we’re doing on the screen,” she said.
Dr Highfield also suggested that parents’ device use could set a pattern of behaviour which interfered with their children’s relationships, cognitive development and emotional responses.
“As parents we have to remember that we’re the child’s first teacher and the most important model of what’s appropriate behaviour.”
THE MoM CHALLENGE: Ask your child how they feel when mum and dad are on their phone and let us know what they said…
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