The parent who’s hyper-connected to his or her cell phone risks becoming a disconnected parent to his or her child.
Overexposure of young children to digital screens is considered by paediatricians to be a public health problem.
But what about children who suffer from their parents hyperconnectivity?
Imagine this situation on the street : a baby just saw a photo of a dog advertised on a wall in town.
The little one tries to communicate its enthusiasm to its mother with an animated gurgle: he stands up on the stroller.
He is not yet old enough to speak but expresses itself with the means at his disposal.
The woman faces him, her face bent towards his mobile phone, which she manipulates with her agile thumbs.
She responds to the cheerful toddler with a mechanical smile and dives back into her screen.
Then the infant fades away: his smile collapses, the spark of his eyes fades away, he sinks into his seat and his joy is extinguished into the silence.
Imagine another reaction from the parent. “Oh, a dog!” would have said the mum. And how does it make the dog? “Wow! Wow!” They would both bark and laugh. “And the cat, how does the cat do? ”
They would have had a few moments of shared pleasure, language, intelligence.
A baby disappointed not to get what it wants, is that so bad?
When these missed opportunities are repeated too often, dozens of times a day, they turn into losses.
These losses evoke what psychoanalysts conceptualised as today we would say the “dead parent complex”. They described the deleterious effects of the psychic absence of the parent, when, absorbed by his/her own depression, she/he becomes unavailable to his/her child.
They showed the disappointed attempts of the child who tries in vain to animate the adult and ends up giving up by adopting a position of withdrawal and extinction of the living forces of his personality.
Are you a hyperconnected parent?
Can you play with your child and leave your phone away?
Can you sense when your child is requesting your attention?