Cell Phones and Bonding

Is your cell phone use harming your child?

Consider your phone usage on a daily basis. Most people in the United States spend up to 3-4 hours a day on their smartphones. A majority of that time is spent on Apps and social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Growing use of mobile technology, combined with the perceived need to be continuously available, provides us with many opportunities for distractions. For parents, this new era is now referred to as “distracted parenting.” 

The baby’s brain is quickly growing and making connections. How many bonding moments are missed when parents are absorbed with their phones instead of paying attention to their baby’s cues? The baby’s experiences, relationships and environment can all impact brain development, which impacts their future problem-solving, communication and self-control. This early childhood research has proven that a parent’s interaction with baby can critically shape their child’s overall development.

In addition to these lost opportunities to bond, early research in this era of “distracted parenting” has shown that an increase in childhood injuries and ER visits is associated with the increase of smartphone users. Also, as children grow, we know that unsupervised children tend to engage in risky behaviors and/or act out to engage a distracted parent. 

There are countless opportunities to teach, support and engage your baby throughout the day and the rewards are endless. These brief but meaningful interactions can shape your baby’s healthy brain development. This is a critical period of time for your baby. Is the distraction worth it?

How every child can thrive by five

by Molly Wright

"What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?" asks seven-year-old Molly Wright, one of the youngest-ever TED speakers. Breaking down the research-backed ways parents and caregivers can support children's healthy brain development, Wright highlights the ... please watch the video for the rest of the story.