Study: Parents just as prone as kids to choose tech over talk - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Study: Parents just as prone as kids to choose tech over conversation

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We've all seen kids tune out the rest of the world, totally engrossed in technology. Now, new research suggests parents can be just as drawn to the light of tables and smartphones as kids are.

According to Dr. Jenny Radesky of Boston Medical Center, "It raised a lot of interesting questions or hypotheses about the way we use devices around our kids."

The study observed how 55 caregivers interacted with young children while they were eating at fast food restaurants. Some of the adults were absorbed in their devices - texting, swiping and scrolling their way through the meal and ignoring the kids.

Experts say face-to-face conversations are crucial to kids' development of language and social skills, such as taking turns in a conversation, building empathy and watching facial reactions.

Researchers readily admitted this snapshot of caregiver-child relationships is not meant to give a clear picture of all parents.

"We recognize that we had no window into the parents' state of mind, their stresses at the moment," said Dr. Radesky.

But it's a good reminder for even the most well-intentioned moms and dads to turn off their phones and tune into their kids.

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