The Dangers of Giving a Child a Phone or Tablet to Calm Them Down

It may be easy to give an angry child a phone or tablet to calm them down, but experts have warned against this dangerous habit, noting that it prevents children from learning how to regulate their emotions.

In a new report published by the British newspaper “Daily Mail,” experts said that children learn a lot about self-regulation and how to respond to certain situations during the first few years of their lives. This period gives them the ability to act calmly rather than with anger in frustrating or stressful situations, and helps them learn how to coexist with others and become independent.

A research team recently found that giving children a phone or tablet could have devastating long-term consequences.


The team stated that the more parents use smartphones or tablets as a calming tool, the worse their children’s skills in managing anger and frustration are after a year.

“More Serious Problems”

Dr. Veronica Knook, the author of the research, said: “We show here that if parents regularly give a digital device to their children to calm them or stop a tantrum, the child will not learn to regulate their emotions.”

She added: “This leads to more serious problems in emotion regulation, especially in anger management, later in life.”

She continued: “Tantrums cannot be cured with digital devices. Children need to learn how to manage their negative emotions by themselves. They need their parents’ help in this learning process, not the help of a digital device.”

The research findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, also revealed that children with weaker basic anger management skills were more likely to be given digital devices.

Instead of giving an angry child a tablet, experts recommend that parents train their children in dealing with difficult situations, help them recognize their emotions, and teach them how to handle them.

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