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Parents Spending Too Much Time On Smartphones, Forgetting Their Kids

Update Date: May 02, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Modern technology has brought forth a lot of benefits for everyone to enjoy though there are cognitive issues that may be getting the raw end of it all.

Mobile phones have become a part of anyone’s daily needs though the reliance and attention towards them has varied. In the case of parents, placing more time on their gadgets is to be expected but such could lead to dire consequences which could affect their children.

A study made by Psychologist professor Chen Yu from the University of Indiana somehow covers that niche, showing how parents who spend more time on their mobile phones could impair the intelligence of children.

"The ability of children to sustain attention is known as a strong indicator for later success in areas such as language acquisition, problem solving and other key cognitive development milestones. Caregivers who appear distracted or whose eyes wander a lot while their children play appear to negatively impact infants' burgeoning attention spans during a key stage of development," said professor Yu.

For the parents who have kept a close eye on attention, such findings should be less of a surprise. Giving attention will vary but in most cases everyone knows how such impact the overall development of a child.

For the parent-child relationship, the impact takes a serious toll especially if it is made during the critical stages of a child’s mental development phase. Such could lead to lower intelligence levels and other familiar factors that could include emotional issues.

Yu’s co-author and professor Linda Smith adds more insights on the study which was published in Current Biology, citing how psychologists had regarded attention as a property of individual development.

"It really appears to be an activity performed by two social partners since our study shows one individual's attention significantly influence another's," adds Smith.

In the same study, parents were classified into two separate groups. One group which forcibly guided infants towards specific objects and the other class which saw parents leave the child lead their own direction.

Parents who tried too hard to call the shots saw the child’s eyes looking elsewhere and technically not paying attention. On the other hand, the ones who let the infant lead showed better attention and interest.

"The responsive parents were sensitive to their children's interests and then supported their attention. We found they did not even really need to try to redirect where the children were looking," explained Yu.

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