Mr. Rogers told kids who watched his PBS TV show (1968-2001) that they were special and he liked them just the way they were.
These days, kids are thrown into a less gentle world. Common Sense Media estimates that 90 percent of movies, 68 percent of video games (kids start playing them around age 4) and 60 percent of TV shows depict violent acts.
Add to that the fact that many parents opt for interacting with their smartphones over paying attention to their child.
Half of parents in one survey said they ignore their kids in favor of their phone at least three times a day.
Clearly, that's what led a second-grader to write the following for a class assignment: "If I had to tell you what invention I don't like, I would say that I don't like the phone. I don't like the phone because my panert (sic) are on their phone every day. A phone is sometimes a really bad habet (sic). I hate my mom's phone and I wish she never had one."
If you're battling digital addictions (choosing your phone over your child is a sure sign) chances are you're also upset.
A study in Neuro Regulation found that digital addiction can trigger anxiety and loneliness.
So, put your phone on mute when you're playing with your child; ban devices from family meals; and don't turn away from your child midsentence to get an email or answer a ring.
Your life-long relationship depends on smart choices you make today.
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