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Scrolling through Facebook may be doing a number on your kids’ behavior.
You limit their screen time, but cutting back on your own when they’re around is just as important. Kids feel neglected when parents focus on their cell phones, email and text messages, a study published in the online May issue of Child Development found. And that’s when they’re more likely to act out with whining, sulking and major tantrums.
The study analyzed surveys filled out separately by moms and dads from 170 two-parent households. Parents rated how hard it was to not check messages and how often their kids acted out over a two-month period. About half the parents admitted technology interrupted their parent-child time three or more times a day. Twenty-four percent said they were interrupted twice a day and 17 percent said once a day. Eleven percent said they weren’t interrupted at all.
While the study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship between “technoference” and behavioral problems, there were many issues associated with low or even “normal” amounts of parental tech time. Bottom line: Being fully present for the kiddos means tuning out emails and text messages when you’re together.