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Divorced parents urged to put cell phones away

Raising children involves many things. Money, love and patience are often some of the first things that come to the minds of Illinois parents. Time is yet another important thing that children need from parents and, in the ideal world that is quality time. Receiving a parent’s undivided attention is critical to optimal social and emotional development for a child.

A recent news article discusses the added importance of such focused attention for children of divorce. Child custody agreements by nature end up reducing the amount of time a child is allowed to spend with each parent, leaving them already at something of a deficit for the time and attention they need from parents. When parents further subdivide their attention and focus by the use of cell phones, iPads or other devices, children continue to lose.

The author indicates that for a child’s emotions and ability to bond to develop properly, parents need to make a greater effort to minimize technological interruptions when spending time with their children. They can develop a stronger relationship with their children and help their children learn how to understand the world around them. The seemingly simple act of taking the eyes’ focus away from a child and to a cell phone to check that all-important text or email interrupts the child-parent time.

Parenting time can also be thought of a “child’s time”, or a child’s time with his or her parents. No matter what child custody arrangement you may have, taking the time to focus on your children is always in the best interests of the child. Talking about this and similar topics with your attorney can be helpful when setting up your visitation plans.

Source: Wired, “How Multitasking on Mobile Affects Children of Divorce,” Arabella Watters, August 31, 2013

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