Research Examines the Link Between “Difficult” Child Behavior and iPad Use

Have you ever handed your iPad or phone to your kid when he/she is picky? What about when they are having a full-blown temper tantrum? I make sure many of us have actually done this. It’s probably not our proudest parenting minute, but it happens. What if this was a common (practically day-to-day) occurrence in […]

Research Examines the Link Between “Difficult” Child Behavior and iPad Use

Have you ever handed your iPad or phone to your kid when he/she is picky? What about when they are having a full-blown temper tantrum? I make sure many of us have actually done this. It’s probably not our proudest parenting minute, but it happens.

What if this was a common (practically day-to-day) occurrence in your family? What do you believe the result of this would have on your kid? These are all concerns that researchers are beginning to explore. The rapid beginning of tablets and other types of innovation that moms and dads can carry with them anywhere, the results of this technology on children is becoming more appropriate.

In a recent research study scientists took a look at a little sample (144 children) of young children ages 15-36 months and their moms and dads (primarily moms). The study illustrated that kids who rated greater on a measure of social-emotional problems were more likely to be provided a mobile device (iPad or phone) as a calming gadget, compared to other kids.

Now, let’s think about a few elements of this research study that assist us interpret these findings.

  • First, while the authors tried their best to tease about the causal link here, we do not know for sure what the causal order is in this circumstance. We do not know for sure if the child’s challenging behavior is making it most likely for the moms and dad to give them an iPad or if maybe frequent usage of an iPad is causing the challenging habits.
  • Second of all, the sample utilized in this study is rather little (144). This suggests that this finding is not always generalizable to a general population.
  • Last but not least, the moms and dads who were more likely to turn over an iPad as a soothing device were those who rated themselves as having less control and more disappointment with their kid’s habits.

Possibly more notably, however, is the fact that this sample is comprised of low-income families. From a social science perspective, we understand that low-income households tend to be under more stress. If you are struggling to make ends satisfy, you tend to be stressed out, maybe distracted or not sleeping as well as you could be otherwise. Under such conditions, it is simple to understand why a few of these parents discovered the iPad as the relaxing gadget of choice when their kids behave in tough ways.

In addition to tension, some of these parents seemed like they have little capability to control their kid’s behavior. Possibly this relates to the stress or possibly other unseen aspects are at play. We can not comprehend all the elements from this one research study.

To me, what this research study points to is a situation that might be not so unusual in many homes: a mother is working numerous hours simply to be able to pay the lease, she is stressed out and is attempting to care for a toddler who might have behavioral problems or might simply be a typical tough young child. As she deals with yet another tantrum from her young child, she hands over the iPad to relax him/her due to the fact that she simply does not have the energy to deal with another breakdown.

Does this sound reasonable? We do not know for sure what is happening in homes daily, but studies like this offer us a little insight. This research study makes me feel even more highly about the requirement for programs and assistance for all moms and dads, however particularly low-income moms and dads. Parenting is a difficult task and the added stresses of monetary struggle can just make it harder. We need to support and motivate moms and dads to engage with their children in ways that will support their advancement in favorable methods.

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