Parenting with Phones

When I was growing up, phones weren’t really a thing. I think I got my first phone in grade 9, and it was for emergencies. I didn’t have internet because it was expensive. Texting was limited. The only thing I used my phone for was calling my parents.

As phones progressed, I started getting more texts and data. I started using my phone to check emails and use Facebook. If I’m being honest, I’ve always been pretty behind the times in regards to joining social networks like Twitter, Instagram, and snap chat. It has only been in the last couple years that I started using these apps.

It was only when I started blogging that these other social networks entered into my life. Now, I have 3 different email carriers for different work related things in my life (2 or 3 emails on each! Ugh!), I have a number of different Facebook pages, I have my twitter and I have Instagram. In addition, I like to check up on current events with my google news articles that update regularly. And I have to have my phone by me in case someone calls me regarding business.

I have gone from not really using my phone very often to being on it all the time. Specifically in the last year. And I don’t like it.

In the past few months, I have noticed that when I sit down with my kids, I automatically open up my phone. They are always busy playing or watching a tv show, but I have stopped engaging with them as much as I used to.

IMG_20171218_132902Even now, I am writing this article while my girls are playing play dough beside me! I’ve been jumping back and forth between the article and them, but in order to start this change I want, I’m going to take a quick break and finish this when they are asleep.

And I’m back.

Kids are asleep and I now feel comfortable working.

In this day and age, it’s really hard for us as parents and adults to disconnect from our phones and computers. Emails come in and we check them. We constantly update Facebook and Instagam and then sit down to read the latest news, browse Pinterest or explore Reddit.

But, do we need to do that while our kids are awake? Is it possible to set aside time during work time, breaks, or after our kids go to bed to do all the work or reading on our phones? I’m not saying don’t use your phone at all. If you need to look  something up, you can still do that. Text people. Make calls. But I’m talking about sitting on the phone, reading through Facebook, emails, Reddit or Pinterest. The stuff that leaves us unable to interact with our kids.

It’s hard to shut the phones off, especially when we’re used to depending on them for so much. But, I think it’s important to set a good example for our children.

Do we want to teach our children that it’s okay to focus on our phones all the time?

I don’t.

I want to be the parent who was always engaging with my kids. Who created positive memories with them. I don’t want their memories to be of them playing while I read my phone. It’s not like I don’t spend a lot of time with them, but I feel like I can do more with them and be on my phone less.

This transition probably won’t be immediate, but I know I’m going to try really hard to leave my phone alone when I’m around my kids.

The new year is just around the corner, and I challenge you to spend more time with your kids than your phone too! Be the parent you would want to spend time with. I’m going to try my very best to be the best one for my kids.

 

 

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