Many parents nowadays spend hours a day looking at their phones rather than engage with their children. Now, one woman has sparked outrage among fellow grandparents.
Writing on Gransnet, the woman described a mother she’d seen at a restaurant where she noticed the children chatting together a little bit loudly only to be ignored because mum was too busy scrolling through her phone.
The woman said: “As the evening progressed they were clearly getting bored. Getting up and down. The waiter told them off a couple of times. Parent just ignored.”
Rather than being annoyed at the noisy children, the woman expressed her sorrow for them, adding: “Not at any time did we complain.
“So, the AIBU [am I being unreasonable] bit is about me feeling a bit sad for the children … it may not have been McDonalds or the Hungry Horse, but they were left pretty much on their own to cope … what do you think?”
She was backed up by others on the site who expressed their own disappointment at modern parents missing out on the small moments as their kids grow up.
“I agree, I too feel sorry for many children who just need a bit of attention and direction, it makes me so sad that there is so little positive communication, children respond really well when they are respected and included,” one commentator wrote.
Another added: “If I had been the grandma I would have told my daughter to get off her mobile to start with.”
The rise of ‘digital parents’ has sparked numerous studies into the effects of technology and the relationship between parent and child and they’ve found that too much screen time for both parties can be harmful.
One recent study found that parents who spend significant amounts of time of their phones, computers or digital devices during family time could be negatively impacting their relationship with their children and causing behavioural problems for their kids over time.
The Illinois State University and University of Michigan Medical School study, published in the Pediatric Research Journal, found neglecting children in favour of looking at smartphones can cause children to feel frustrated, and to sulk, whinge, throw tantrums or even experience hyperactivity.