BOSTON, Ma. (CBS) – Parents or caregivers, do you often find yourself on your smartphone when you’re out to eat with your kids? A new study says some children are noticing and they could be acting out because of it.
Researchers observed 55 nonparticipant caregivers eating with one or more children in Boston-area fast food restaurants and took notes describing the behavior between the caregiver and children during the meal.
The study found that of the 55 caregivers observed, 40 used their mobile devices during the meal with one to three kids present.
Researchers say that caregivers who were extremely absorbed in their devices often responded harshly when children acted out or misbehaved.
The study says some children started to test their limits when adults were engaged in their cell phones. The adults would ignore the misconduct for awhile, then would often react by a scolding them or speaking in a robotic manner without looking at the child.
One researcher reported a female adult kicked a child’s foot under the table and another pushed a boy’s hands away when he was trying to lift her face from looking at the device.
However, some caregivers did not bring their mobile devices out at all, or simply left it on the table, giving mostly of their attention to the children during the meal.
To read the full study, click here.