If you are breastfeeding, where do you look when you feed your baby?
If you have a toddler, when you interact do you look at them as you talk to them? No one can do this 100 per cent of the time, but where do you sit on the scale: 80 per cent? 60 per cent? 25 per cent?
When it comes to technology and kids, by now most of us have read the studies linking high screen use to a sedentary lifestyle and therefore childhood obesity. We’ve read stories that say letting young children and babies use touchscreens and smartphones is tantamount to “child abuse”. Then there are stories about kids as young as three becoming addicted to touchscreens – just take them away from them and it’s like trying to take the pokies away from a gambling addict.
On the other hand there’s research that says all of the above is dramatic bollocks, that there is no direct link between touchscreens and cognitive deficits or issues in children. People need to calm down.
No wonder it’s hard to know what to think, particularly when raising kids is so demanding and tiring and there is this glowing screen, this ray of light just over there that can give back parents a much needed sliver of uninterrupted time their day.
Now enter into the debate a different kind of touchscreen use by-product altogether. One that has nothing at all to do with a child's use, but everything to do with the parent's use and how that impacts on their baby or child.
It's not about what the parent is doing on their phone, it's about disconnection when they are so connected. It's about the parent's gaze, the most basic of human connections, moving from the child to the screen.