There is nothing more precious to a small child than mommy’s love and attention. It’s a simple survival mechanism. If mommy is looking at me, she’ll notice what I need and will provide it.
When a child sees that mommy’s gaze is persistently directed towards an object (eg a phone, a tablet, etc), the child begins to see that object as invested with mommy’s love. Mommy is holding it and / or looking at it, so if I hold it and / or look at it, I will finally hold mommy’s love. And so not being able to hold it / look at it creates extreme anxiety.
And this effect is present when you don’t even look at the phone or turn it on. There are people (and I’m one of them) who just like to hold it without turning it on. And so that’s a really bad idea, too, because the child still learns to think that this is something that is so important to mommy that she can’t let go of it. The child begins to feel desperate to take it away, to hold it, to connect with it as a way of connecting with Mommy.
I have already learned not to open the phone in front of Klara. Now I need to learn not to hold it in my hand.