Our world is rapidly changing and all the time new parenting issues arise as a result of our technology. One that I’ve particularly been watching, thinking and misusing over is the use, or overuse of our mobile phone. Now please don’t sigh and think, “Here we go again!” I’ve been contemplating what it actually feels like from our kids point of view. What is it like? What do they think when their parents and those around them are glued to the screens of their electronics?
So I asked them. This is what they said. One child clarified exactly what I meant with my questioning and said succinctly, “You mean when they have their heads buried in their phone?” Those words hit me like a hammer. “Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like, isn’t it?” I murmured. “Buried in their phones”.
I was told the “...kids just want to talk to their parents or get their point across,” and the “...parent just wants the kids to be quiet and to leave them alone.” (Hmmm we can all relate to that one.) It’s annoying and it’s frustrating when parents just answer, “Hmmm, Yep, Okay and just don’t pay any attention to their childrens’ queries. “ But what is the real message that being “buried in our phones” tells kids? It doesn’t seem to the child that their parent really cares or is interested in them. I can certainly see how they would get that impression! Parents just don’t realize how critical this issue is in regards to their child’s view of Mum and Dad.
Are you buried in your phone?
If so, perhaps you as a parent need to make a few rules about the use of the phone. For example, it doesn’t come to the dinner table. By that I mean, it doesn’t even sit on the dinner table. The Phone like another person and when it beeps, vibrates or whistles it captivates your attention and takes you away from your kids. Does it come into the backyard with your family? Do you really need to check it when it beeps? How much does it interfere with you spending time with your kids?
So why not start today? Lift your head up, put the phone away, smile and really listen when your kids talk to you. Or else, perhaps one day they will simply give trying to find a way to drag you out of the screen world. Your kids will feel so much more important if you do.