I came across this amazing article by Hands Free Mama, on her take on the technology driven culture we live in and the distractions that it brings to our parenting. Here are some of the heart-breaking observations from children themselves about their parents obsessive phone use. Something so many of use as parents are guilty of.
“My mom is on the phone all the time. She never gets off.”
“My dad has a problem putting down his phone.”
“My mom texts and drives.”
“My mom talks on the phone the whole time she is driving. She doesn’t even say ‘goodbye’ when I get out of the car.”
“Sometimes I say something and my dad doesn’t hear me because he is typing on his phone.”
“My parents are so busy with their phones that they forget to feed me and put me to bed. I am forgotten a lot of the time.”
What is sad is that all this takes is one phone and one child and the recipe for missing a childhood can be yours. The way you miss that childhood is to keep you phone on and around you at all times of the day and let it interrupt anything and everything. Neglect conversation or bedtime because you’re more interested in pinterest. Get angry at your child for bothering you while you are on your phone. Be on the phone so much you miss saying goodbye or hello to your child.
Children don’t see a ‘busy’ parent who has a large workload (if that’s the case), they see a phone that has more sway over their parents love and attention then they themselves do. Children recognize more than we think they do…and sadly bad memories become long term memories much more often than the good ones.
There is a way though to change. Like looking your child in the eyes when they talk to you-giving them your full attention, always greet them enthusiastically, play-play-and more PLAY, distraction-free driving (it’ll be a good model for when they learn to drive), create a distraction free ritual once a day where the children are the only priority. Whatever you do…putting down the phone is key.