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Parents warned about 'phubbing' in front of their children

Parents warned about 'phubbing' in front of their children

Are you guilty of this bad habit?

It can be easy to get sucked into doomscrolling on your phone - but now experts are warning against 'phubbing' in front of children.

'Phubbing' describes the way we put our phone screens in front of others - quite literally.

A mash-up between the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing’, ‘phubbing’ is when you get sucked into looking at your phone, meaning you zone out the people around you.

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And while potentially dangerous when crossing a road or stepping onto a train, it can also impact our relationships.

It's undoubtedly frustrating trying to speak to a partner or friend when they're busy watching TikTok videos, but the impact phubbing can have on children could be particularly damaging.

Mary Alvord, PhD, co-author of ‘Conquer Negative Thinking for Teens’, stressed the importance of not accidentally ignoring kids while mindlessly scrolling.

She told Very Well Mind: “I think the big question here is… are parents giving undivided attention when their kids need it?

“Or are they shooing them away more than usual? It happens to everybody sometimes. The key is how much.”

But it's hard to prise yourself away from your phone if you're a parent. Felice Martin, MS, NCC, LPC, CPCS, NeuroCoach+ NeuroLeader at Behavioral Health Associates of Georgia, LLC, said: “Parents rely on the convenience of smartphones (i.e., alarms, book reading, scheduling, news, social connections, etc.), thus creating a sense of dependence.

“In fact, we often hear parents’ comment that they ‘can’t go anywhere’ without their phone."

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Sure, we'd be lost without them - and there's even a word for the fear of being without your phone, 'nomophobia' - but could our phone obsession be affecting our relationships?

It's not just kids who could be suffering. An online study in Turkey, published in Pyschological Reports, found that people who experience phubbing are less satisfied with their romantic relationships and see its quality as being lower.

The solution? Perhaps try putting your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode for a few hours each day when hanging out with family members, or better still, try leaving your device at home on the odd occasion - you might even enjoy it. TikTok will still be there when you get back.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Kentaroo Tryman / Halfpoint Images Getty