Keeping your eye on the......child

Waiting in line at a store recently, I couldn't help but notice a young couple with a toddler. The 2 or 3-year-old was trying avidly to get the attention of her parents by waving various toys and holding up her arms. Unfortunately, mom and dad were so engrossed in their smart phones that they failed to notice. Interestingly, a study published in Current Biology in May suggested that caregivers whose eyes wander due to distractions, such as smartphones, may raise children with shorter attention spans. The study, by researchers at Indiana University, found that babies whose parents followed their lead during play focused on objects about four times longer than toddlers whose caregivers were distracted. And when parents made little effort to focus on the object of their child's attention, the kids had even shorter attention spans than the children whose parents focused briefly before looking away. Obviously, this is just one study but but it's fascinating to think about the way technology may be impacting us in a host of different ways - good and bad.