Using a mobile device during meals in fast-food restaurants made caregivers less attentive to the small children they were with, researchers reported.
During a non-participation, observational study, caregivers who were absorbed with typing and swiping on mobile devices during meals at fast-food restaurants spent less time paying attention to the child or children (ages 0 to 10) in their care and often reacted harshly to misbehavior or bids for attention, according to Jenny S. Radesky, MD, of Boston Medical Center, and colleagues.
In the case of one absorbed caregiver, the child’s bid for attention was met with a kick under the table. With another, the child was trying to pull the caregiver’s face away from the screen, and the caregiver physically pushed the child’s hands away from her face.
“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
OK, put the phone down and keep your hands where I can see them. Now turn the damn thing off and pay some attention to your kids.
Or you can just kick them.