With technology advancing at such a rate in recent years, it’s inevitable that many of us seem to be living our life through our phones, iPads and other mobile devices. We can check the weather, news, birthdays, diaries, and organise pretty much anything these days through this little gadget.
As a single parent, this can be very a life-saver when time is short and there is so much going on. However, what effect is this having on our children?
Studies from around the world have shown that a parent with a “screen addiction” can be really harmful to the emotional wellbeing of your child. Sound’s far-fetched? Why not check out the statistics for yourself?
A survey conducted by online security powerhouses AVG set out to see how children felt about their parents addiction to their smartphones and the apps or sites that they can visit on it. The results of the 6,000 strong interviewees were rather surprising.
54% of children said that they felt their parent checked their phone too often throughout the day and on top of that rather heartbreakingly 32% of children said that they felt neglected when their parents were on their phone.
Now neglected of course is a strong term to use; but to a child, a parent who has their nose buried in their phone is a parent who isn’t paying them attention at that moment. Whilst a fleeting text or email won’t cause your child to feel that they are a little less loved, an hour spent furiously tapping away may give them a feeling that they are second to your new found romance.
This can of course lead to resentment, misbehaving and frustration in your child. All behaviours and emotions that no parent wants to cause.
It would be nice to think that the parents who use their phones a large amount are oblivious to the impact that this is having, or quite the extent of the problem but in the same survey it was found that 52% of parents agreed with the fact that they used their phone or device too much.
Rather amusingly 25% of the parents wanted their child to use their own devices less, whilst 28% understood that perhaps they were the ones setting the bad example!
The invention of smart phones and online dating apps is perfect for those people who find more “standard” approaches to dating difficult, such as single parents however it should never take over actual social interactions with those who are closest to you.
Be aware of your children, be mindful of their feelings and above all, recognise when you are using your mobile device a little too much.
So what about online dating as a single parent? We’re not saying you shouldn’t use your phone when it comes to online dating in the presence of your children, but sometimes that flirty message may be too enticing to reply to. Always be mindful of the world that is right there at your fingertips, one that you can actually touch, one that loves you already without the need for impressing or wooing.
Time with your children is precious and any potential date who is worth entering a relationship with can wait for your response!