At any given moment you look around you, how many people are on their phone? How many of those people are with their kids?
There are so many moments we miss as parents when we are looking at our phones, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, looking at DIY projects on Pinterest, whatever the case may be, put it down. Your babies grow so quickly, don’t miss more than you have to. When we sit there staring at our phones, we are sending a message to our children that whatever is happening on that phone is more important than what is happening there with them. We reinforce this when our kids call to show us something and the first thing said is “Just a minute, baby”. What could we possibly be doing on the phone all. the. time. that is more important than what they want to show us? (I say this as I multitask between typing, playing ball and eating pretend fish)
One of my big worries is that we are teaching our children these habits. Everything you do, no matter how minimal you think it is, they see and repeat. Staring at the phone for hours on end, playing games or looking through social media, is not teaching our kids any important life skill. We need to realize that we could be unintentionally putting our kids in danger. If you are looking at your phone, how are you properly supervising your kids at the park or in the store? They could run off or fall down, and you aren’t entirely sure what happened because you were looking at the phone.
There are some things you can do to help yourself put down the phone.
- Put your phone on silent, if you don’t hear the messages or notifications you will be less tempted to check them.
- Set a scheduled time each day to go phone free, put it away completely and give the kids your undivided attention.
- Monitor how much you actually use your phone, Apple sends me a weekly report each week that tells me how long I spent on my phone the previous week. It really puts my usage into perspective and shows me how much time I waste on the phone. (For Samsung if they don’t send you a usage report there is an app called QualityTime that tracks your usage)
Other reasons to put it down:
- Staring at the phone strains your eyes, give them a break
- Using your phone right before bed could be hurting your sleep, the blue light suppresses melatonin and keep your brain awake.
- Carpal Tunnel
- Be more social, in person. Human interaction is a wonderful thing.
From personal experience, seeing how much time I wasted on the phone (29 hours the first week of tracking) blew me away. That is over an entire day on the phone, out of a single week! That was when I realized how bad the phone addiction truly is, and most people don’t even realize it. After this I paid close attention to my usage, I realized how much I was truly missing out on, how much time I actually do have. Instead of sitting on the couch when I wake up on my day off, scrolling through to see what everyone else is doing over the weekend, I can clean the house before the kids get up. I am presented with a whole new perspective, by 9 a.m. I can have the house clean, coffee/breakfast ready and myself ready for the day. I’m no longer finding myself in a rabbit hole of facebook posts, videos or photos. It is truly freeing.
So. Coming from the Mom who was on the phone all the time, who finally put it down and watched her world change because of it, YOU CAN DO IT.
Give your kids more attention, while they still want it. Love them to the fullest and take them on every adventure you can. You never know when it’s the last adventure, before they get too old and too cool.