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.

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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  • Fact of life these days :(


  • I bet that when the kids get their own phones soon enough, the whole family will be addicted to screens and just be texting each other instead of talking because this is what the parents are teaching them is ok. lol


  • As an adult, I have been through the Invisalign journey.
    Each plate feels very tight when first worn but feel more comfortable over time, until the next one.
    For best results, for adults, the plates were to be worn at all times except for eating.
    After food, brush the teeth and reinsert the plate.
    Many people didn’t even notice the plates. If they did, they asked positive questions about it.


  • I’ve seen so many people walk into things while on their phone. I saw an older couple having ice cream and enjoying the outdoors while their teen sat on the phone and didn’t look up. I saw a child need their parent at swimming lessons and they were off on their phone. I’m so glad we don’t have a phone for anything but phone calls. Watching others when we are out to dinner as a family enjoying ourselves and their are parents and couples sitting in silence looking at phones is so sad.


  • We certainly need to be mindful of our behaviour in this area, just like when we are driving, talking to other people etc, we need to set a good example.


  • well this is a timely reminder


  • A friend’s daughter told be she can’t be bothered trying to talk to her Mum any more becuase she is always on her phone. Later her Mum brought the subject up so I told her what her daughter had said. She reckoned her daughter never listened when she tried to talk to her. Probably her mind was still on her phone and she wasn’t listening to her daughter. She doesn’t even stay off it when they’ve got visitors or are at somebody else house. The Dad is just about as bad.


  • Do hope parents will take heed of these comments from children. Watched a woman with about a 3 month old baby in a pram at a bus stop the other day. The baby eyes never left the mums face and was waving it’s arms about trying to get attention. Mum was too busy looking at her phone to see. Terrible indictment. Don’t have a baby if you haven’t got time for it.


  • In my house my children first before my phone


  • Sad to read children believe they are coming second place to their parent’s phone!

    • I know – it is rather sad. We have tech free times and it is such a good thing.


  • It would be great if we could look at our screens less.


  • There just has to be technology downtime. I am always disappointed when people pay attention to phones and technology rather than people. The person in front of you is far more important than catching up on social media or games.


  • Some parents can be really obsessed with technology indeed. Not nice to see a child asking questions to a parent that is too absorbed in his stuff to even acknowledge him.


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