Is “Cell Phone Babysitting” bad for our children? What should parents be aware of?


The popularity of cell phones has made child-rearing a little easier for parents. With the increase in videos, educational games and child-rearing and discipline applications, parents have a hard time not rely on their phones all the time. Although cell phones are convenient, their popularity has led to an increase in “Cell Phone Babysitting”. Relying too much on the cell phone may negatively affect your child’s development. Also, some cases of child neglect are caused by parents who are paying attention to their cell phone and not their children. In this article, we will cover the negative effects of “Cell Phone Babysitting” that all parents of young children should be aware of.

スマホ子守りは子どもの成長に悪影響? 親子の育児に大切なこととは

What is the current situation of “Cell Phone Babysitting”

“Cell Phone Babysitting” is currently used by parents around the world. The definition is broad and includes situations where parents use the cell phone with their children, situations where parents use the cell phone while child-rearing and situations where parents let their children entertain themselves with their cell phone. Most parents have experienced at least one of these situations. According to the results from one survey, 60% of children between the age of 2 and 6 years old have used a cell phone or tablet. The use of these devices is very helpful for parents when their child is crying or when they are busy with housework. However, doctors and psychologists are pointing out the dangers of “Cell Phone Babysitting”. Let’s explore how the use of the cell phone affects your child’s development.

A Negative Effect of “Cell Phone Babysitting”: Delays in your baby’s development

Using the cell phone as a babysitter may have a negative effect on your baby’s development. According to the Japan Pediatric Association, babies as young as 8 months old can physically use their finger to swipe on the cell phone screen. If children learn how to swipe too early, it may affect how they grasp their toys, turn the pages in a picture book and delay their general physical development. In some cases, cell phone use may lead to delays in language development, less communication and eye contact between parents and children and other developmental delays. If parents rely on the cell phone to help stop their child from crying then they may have problems when they don’t have their cell phone on them.

A Negative Effect of “Cell Phone Babysitting”: Parents Ignoring their Child-Rearing Responsibilities

Let’s be careful, as parents, to not rely too much on our cell phone and forget about our parenting responsibilities. Some education specialists believe that “child neglect due to cell phone use” has been on the rise. In recent years, “child neglect due to cell phone use” has replaced the “pachinko neglect” of the past. An increase in “child neglect due to cell phone use” will lead to a decrease in communication skills and may cause “attachment disorder”. Most parents do not mean to neglect their child but they are too involved with their cell phone to notice it is happening. Cell phones can be very helpful tools for child-rearing but they should not replace a parent’s love for their child.

Cell phone use does not automatically lead to negative effects for the parent and child. Cell phones can also be used in child-rearing to support your child’s development and decrease your burden as a parent which are beneficial to both the parent and the child. It is important for parents to realize child-rearing is based on parent-child communication. Let’s make sure to prevent cell phone use from interfering with the communication between parents and children.

スマホ子守りは子どもの成長に悪影響? 親子の育児に大切なこととは