Most adults have been there—staring at our phones or tablets, not paying attention to the rest of the world as we navigate through whatever app we're using. Children also get into this loop of losing themselves in technology thanks to parents' attempts at appeasement. However, for very young children, this not only could be bad for their eyesight, but their relationships with their parents as well—especially if they are children of divorce.
A study by Matthew Stevenson, a PhD candidate at Arizona State University who is currently researching father-child relationships post-divorce, found that children of divorce—specifically those ages three to five years old—are far more likely to form insecure attachments if multitasking on technological devices is part of their upbringing. That means that as they develop, they don't form the bonds with their parents that can sustain the separation a divorce causes.
Dr. Clifford Nass, an expert on the effects of multitasking on cognitive control and the director of the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media Lab at Stanford University, believes that the generally observed detrimental effects of technology on cognition and information processing can be applied specifically to parental relationships with children: "If you're interacting with a child, not looking them in the eye, not listening to what they're saying, there is an enormous negative impact."
How Multitasking on Mobile Affects Children of Divorce (Wired)