POSTED: Monday, May 5, 2014 - 9:30pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 - 9:44am
Tyler, TX (KETK) — From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, chances are the bulk of your time is spent on your smartphone, tablet or gadget. Recent data collected by cell phone companies suggests 91 percent of americans own a mobile phone and on average check their phone 150 times a day. The average person receives and sends at least 23 text messages per day and makes or receives at least 5 calls. But, while we are busy connected to our hand held gadgets. We could be disconnecting from things that are much more important. "Parenting is a contact sport. it is something that requires a lot of focus a lot of attention, and it is not something you can do part time," Licenced Professional Counselor, Wade Frecnh of Tyler said, they are eroding their relationship with their children. "This certainly can detract from parents paying attention to the children."
Human-to-human verbal contact is essential to child development and with digital communication becoming increasingly common in the tech generation French said, parents are indirectly teaching their children: "It must be important to communicate with people through electronic means because this is what i see my parents do," French said.
An even greater concern, if parents are glued to their phones, they are paying less attention to their parental duties. Which can indirectly affect your children later in life. "Of all the things that children want, they want the attention of their parents more than anything else. they want the approval of their parents more than anything else, and when they can't get it, bad things always happen. because they will seek that attention or that approval somewhere else, and very often, it will not be a place that's good for them," French said.
Brittney Dossey of Tyler is a mother of two, "I'm very guilty julst like everyone else of playing with my phones playing on facebook, but you know, i would say on average i probably spend a good 5 hours with my kids, a good five hours just one-on-one."
KETK News gave her a portable camera for a day, and told her to record how many times she looked at her phone when she was around her children.
While dossey was with her four and five your old son and daughter for those five hours, she checked her phone 37 times.
But, Dossey said there are certain times of the day her home turns into a phone free zone. "We don't answer our phones during dinner, dinner is family time and i try to keep that." she said. Doctor French said, that small break from your mobile device is priceless."Face-to-face contact, touching, interacting, those kinds of things, you have to have a certain amount of that going on and you can't make up for it by giving somebody an ipad to watch looney tunes on."
Dossey said she learned, "It's very important to give your kids your undivided attention, they crave it they want it they need it." Drench said, "There are people who lose parents for all different kinds of reasons." but he says, children shouldn't lose their parents to a cell phone.