Give them divided attention!
The experiential message is: What you're saying is not as important as this other thing I'm doing right now.
Doing this once in a while isn't the problem, it's the repetitious nature of parental unavailability that conveys this message.
One experience after another, and the evidence becomes clear:
They become shy, have difficulty learning and making friends
They act out, push limits, and seek attention
They compare themselves, become a follower, and try "fitting in"
Of course, divided attention is often a subconscious reaction and result of unprocessed emotional pain; causing one to feel unsettled and never really anywhere, with anyone.
This is yet another symptom of the false self, whose alias is the separate self because it doesn't know how to be in relationship or communion with another--fully disconnected, blinded by its superficiality.
The "solution" is not to start paying attention to your kids, that's the byproduct of sitting with your pain until you're transformed by it.
"All great spirituality is about what we do with our pain. If we do not transform our pain, we will transmit it to those around us." Richard Rohr