Parents need to learn to put down smartphones for benefit of the kids

Parents are using smartphones instead of interacting with kids and the environment, which is a major issue for child development, researchers note.

Published Tue, Apr 22 2014 7:25 AM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

Smartphones and tablets are seemingly everywhere, and while they often help us complete work tasks and stay entertained, there is a growing issue of smartphone overuse. This is even more problematic for parents that are glued to their smartphones, inadvertently missing critical communication and interaction lessons for their kids, according to researchers.

Parents need to learn to put down smartphones for benefit of the kids |

"They learn language, they learn about their own emotions, they learn how to regulate them," said Dr. Jenny Radesky, a Boston Medical Center researcher, in a statement to NPR. "They learn by watching us how to have a conversation, how to read other people's facial expressions. And if that's not happening, children are missing out on important development milestones."

Although Dr. Radesky's study, which found 40 of 55 parents in an informal study used a mobile device and were so absorbed that they didn't interact with their kids during a meal. Unfortunately, playing on Facebook and watching YouTube videos can be detrimental for child development, as kids learn by face-to-face interaction.


An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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