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predicting the future with the U5s and the use of devices.

(15 Posts)
KeepServingTheDrinks Fri 30-Jun-17 23:14:53

There's a ridiculous thread on here, probably gone now about Angels.

I avoided commenting on the point of the thread itself (because I didn't want to get banned), but did point out that in my opinion, giving the under 5s devices to use was - in my view - a safeguarding issue.

Mostly my comment didn't register (it was all about the angels), but a few posters did say how ridiculous I was, and 'ooo... should I be expecting a call from SS'.

No, of course social services won't come a-knocking if you give your kid your phone to distract them.

And I do understand why a parent would do this. I'm a mother myself, and I do remember the absolute vein-opening tedium of the youngest years, when there's very little coming back (their smile lights your world, of course), but you're so, so, so tired and it's just SO repetitive and sometimes they seem so insolent. I do remember how hard it is. So I understand that the phones (which were very basic in my day) give release from your tedium (thank you MN) and distract your child.

But my prediction for the future is that using phones in the care of the very young (instead of interacting with them) is the new drunk driving (I remember when you went to the pub and just "drove carefully" or smoked in the "smoking section" [imagine a square, half the square is smoking, half non-smoking. No screens or anything, just half and half]. Or where a peodo dj had unsupervised access to the most vulnerable and got air time lauding him.)

So, you'll all hate me, but my prediction is that the world will turn, as the world does turn and in the not-too-distant future, giving a child in a pushchair a phone to distract them is going to be the new 'bad'. And I predict the primary carers (who will mostly be mums) all over will rush to say "I never did this"

I'm expecting a LOT of hate for this, but I don't think I'm wrong. I think there will be evidence - very soon - of attachment issues and attainment issues and developmental issues.

There are a LOT of thread on here NOW about kids who won't leave their screens. And most of those children are too young to have been born when constant screens were a thing. But they are a 'thing' now.

I think there's going to be studies which show that instead of face-to-face interaction (which is how baby learns) the primary carer is looking at their screen. I've just realized typing this why MNHQ is going to pull this thread! and the damage this is doing to our children.

Please go ahead and take me to pieces. I promise, my week couldn't get a lot worse!

This isn't a TAAT, MNHQ, although you may see it that way. It's a serious comment about parenting.

StickThatInYourPipe Fri 30-Jun-17 23:20:25

Actually I think you're right

mcpound Fri 30-Jun-17 23:35:54

I remember the angels thread and I think your comments were probably the most ridiculous thing on it!
A short amount of time on a phone/ tablet isn't instead of face to face interaction. As long as there are parental restrictions in place and it is supervised why would it be any different to a child looking at pictures in a book? It's all about balance and embracing the positives of technology whilst teaching your children how to manage it sensibly.

HeyRoly Fri 30-Jun-17 23:40:10

Um, thanks for that.

Children are not going to grow up with attachment disorders because their parent used a smartphone excessively/because they were allowed to play with smartphones.

There are a lot of armchair psychologists who talk about attachment disorders really glibly, without knowing what they are. You know what causes attachment disorders? Massive neglect and sustained abuse. Not a parent who whiles away parts of the day on MN/FB/whatever.

MargotLovedTom1 Fri 30-Jun-17 23:44:04

I work in a school and recently attended a training day where the speaker was talking about this issue. YANBU.

seventhgonickname Fri 30-Jun-17 23:46:38

What I often see at the moment is mum's glued to their phone screens ignoring their children,may happen more at home.That I think is even more damaging and either way their are going to beattention/communication deficits when they start school.

KeepServingTheDrinks Fri 30-Jun-17 23:47:47

Congrats on your amazing memory, mcpound.... it was yesterday. You're right, the existence of angels is more probable than parents using a device to 'childmind' is neglectful

And yes, HeyR, I do know what causes attachment disorders. I work with that all the time. I also watch children dying to tell their primary carer about their day, and that primary carer being deep into their phone. I see babes who know how to swipe the screen.

Please feel free to kiss me off as being ridiculous. But I do predict the world will turn, and in the next 5/10/15 years, parents will be falling over themselves to deny they ever did this.

Watch this space....

MargotLovedTom1 Fri 30-Jun-17 23:51:36

I should clarify that it was the scenario described by seventh which was discussed on the training day, and not babies and young children using phones etc.

thatverynightinmaxsroom Fri 30-Jun-17 23:53:37


I do think screen use is detrimental to good parenting, yes. Eg

I'm very careful to minimise my screen use when with my kids (under 5s) to things that need to be done - eg texting to arrange a meeting that day - and I explain to them what I'm doing.

I do imagine though that Mums in the past just read books or magazines when Mums today might look at their phones?

Re attachment disorders. You were pretty glib about them but they are not purely caused by massive neglect and sustained abuse. Insecure attachment is actually alarmingly common. I don't think it's anywhere outside the realms of possibility that some children have insecure attachment because their caregivers are too engaged in their screens. An unresponsive parent is traumatic for a baby.

Esmereldafish Sat 01-Jul-17 00:00:39

I actually agree, and I use my phone a lot!! I do however restrict my (very young) DCs use of iPads/phones. We didn't even own one until recently. My oldest is starting school this year, and her pre school key worker asked me if she knew how to use an iPad, as the school needed to know. It made me really sad to think how common it is for a 4yr old to be using an iPad for any length of time. I know many children (under 4) who have their own tablets already. Some parent friends of mine think it's great that their children wake up early but then help themselves to their iPads for an hour so they can have a lay in.

I guess in a way as long as the parent does not overuse around the children then it's no different to when my parents used to take time out to read the paper or watch the news when I was younger. I mean it's good for them to realise they can't demand 100% attention all the time. I do worry for my children though, I hope things change.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 01-Jul-17 00:03:32

I see where you're coming from but I think this probably just the new stick to beat parents with. I see all the time on here people saying that constant interaction with children is a relatively new phenomenon and that 20+ years ago children where often left to their own devices to play themselves, even from a very young age.

I for one do play on my phone sometimes during the day, I also spend a lot of the day interacting and playing with my DS, but I couldn't do it all day because I do get bored of playing games with a 1 year old.

KeepServingTheDrinks Sat 01-Jul-17 00:06:03

I agree and understand those of you who are talking about remembering their parents (or having done themselves) reading books and newspapers.

But we want kids to read, so reading is "modelling". Also, people generally find a newspaper easier to put down. I hear parents all the time saying things like ".... in a minute... I'm on my phone". I don't especially remember parents saying "I'll come back to you at the end of this chapter"

Although most of you coming back seem to be parents, I've thought this is probably a bad time to post, because most parents with young children will be asleep at the moment, and this thread will be long gone by the time they wake up tomorrow.

FormerlyFrikadela01 Sat 01-Jul-17 00:20:07

* I don't especially remember parents saying "I'll come back to you at the end of this chapter"*

Nope I remember this very well not just from my mum but both my grandma and nana would become very absorbed in books. Its one of the reasons I haven't read a book since my son was born, I become far too engrossed where the outside world almost doesn't exist.

Not completely disagreeing with you, I do think parents should put limits in place, and limit themselves. But I don't think it will be as doom and gloom with an entire generation of children growing up with attachment issues.

thatverynightinmaxsroom Sat 01-Jul-17 00:24:40

KeepServing it's precisely because I don't look at my phone much when my kids are awake that I'm up so late doing that now smile Must go to sleep now though.

MargotLovedTom1 Sat 01-Jul-17 00:53:58

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