Your Cell Phone Addiction Hurts Your Child

Your Cell Phone Addiction Hurts Your Child
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

It’s no secret that adults in today’s socie ty spend too much time looking at their phones. The means of communication seem to have changed, and social media and mobile phones are a priority for many people. This is quite damaging because it causes many adults to become too disconnected from reality. What’s worse, this cell phone addiction can really hurt your children.

The danger of cell phone addiction

Perhaps at some point you’ve noticed that while your child is speaking or wanting to share experiences with you, you’ve caught yourself looking at your phone and ignoring what your child is saying. It’s a sad reality that many children are experiencing today. And if that weren’t bad enough, they learn that this is normal and, in the future, they’ll do the same thing. 

Cell phone addiction seems to have become commonplace these days, but the intellectual and emotional damage that this causes to children of addicted parents is too great, especially to very small children. Neuroscience studies have found that the first three years of a child’s life are when they most rapidly develop their linguistic, emotional, social and motor skills.

Cell phone addiction affects children

When parents have a cell phone addiction, they are missing opportunities with their child that they will never be able to repeat. Their children cannot have quality interactions with their parents. All this can cause emotional problems and developmental delays in areas like speech or indispensable social skills.

The importance of face-to-face interaction

Parents must interact with their children face-to-face in order for these little ones to develop good habits and improve their learning day by day. The same is true for their behavior and their emotional development. Children develop through quality interactions with their parents. They learn language, emotional regulation, and they also learn how to enjoy time with family.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children

 -Charles Swindoll-

The problem also lies in the fact that if a mom pays more attention to her phone than she does to her children, these little ones will try to get her attention. Upon having to distract her attention, she will tend to get easily angered and lose her calm with her little ones. This can provoke great emotional pain for the children, who do not understand what is going on.

Cell phone addiction is synonymous with ignoring your child

It sounds terrible, but the truth is that these children feel ignored by their parents. Furthermore, when they see what’s going on, they will tend to behave even worse in order to get their parent’s attention. This will then cause both parties to become even more irritable, and tension will become commonplace.

When an adult is answering a message, this activates the urgent task function in their brain. If they’re interrupted, they can mistreat their children. It’s unthinkable that parents pay more attention to digital activities than they do their own children, but this is an unfortunate reality. Children feel they’re not important to their parents, and this creates feelings of rejection and causes great harm to the development of their self-esteem. 

father on cell phone while with his child

All this has to change

This lack of interaction with children due to cell phone addiction has to change. Parents must be aware of the importance of interacting with their children. They must speak to them and listen to them calmly every single day of their lives.

Certain measures must be taken in order to overcome cell phone addiction and thereby improve the quality of family life:

  • Set rules and time limits regarding the use of mobile devices at home
  • Prioritize interaction with your children and silence your phone when playing or interacting with your children
  • Also set rules regarding the screen time that your children have. Everyone should limit their screen addiction
  • Be aware of your child’s need for daily stimulation and quality family time
  • Set a schedule for work. You don’t have to answer emails when you’re with your children. That can wait
  • Don’t touch your mobile phone during meals or family time

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.