Are Parents Too Distracted?

Life is busy.  For parents, it seems that much busier. Keeping track of our schedules, our kids schedules and keeping in touch with friends and family – not to mention actual work-we-get-paid-for – can be daunting. Our smartphones and devices can sometimes make parenting and life in general easier. Everything we need is in the palm of our hand. We can do everything from check our kids’ sports schedule to ordering dinner all from an app. All of these are conveniences that our parents didn’t have.

But with convenience comes distractions. It’s easy to get sucked into reading the latest news, tweeting your opinions or seeing what your neighbor from childhood is doing on Facebook. With all of this technology, it’s easy to wonder – are parents too distracted?

It’s not an easy question to answer. It’s not a new issue, by any means, at least for any parent who grew up in the age of television. Not all parents love sitting on the floor and playing 17 games of Hi-Ho Cheerio or making up two hour-long stories about imaginary creatures. The adults who can ignore all the other things they’re meant to do that day and just play are AMAZING. But they are also rare. We start when our kids are quite small (and not always the most fascinating conversationalists) by distracting ourselves when WE get bored.

This behavior isn’t new now that we have cell phones, but it sure has gotten easier to find something else to do while sitting near our children. It also may be a little harder to put it away compared to a book or a magazine or a TV show (that at least had commercials!) and really focus on what our kids are asking or saying to us.

Society has definitely made it normal to use our devices at home, in public, in the bathroom (don’t pretend you don’t) and in bed, and all that’s having an effect on our kids.

Parents have concerns about their kids ability to engage in “real life” and interactions and relationships, so we have to consider what we’re teaching in three important ways.

Watch this video to find out what those three ways are and the one major tip on how to raise kids that aren’t attached to their cell phones.

So what do you think? Are you too distracted? Here are a few things you can start now to show your children good habits.

  1. Put your device down at dinner.
  2. When you are out on a family outing, turn your phone on silent or do not pick up unless it’s an emergency.
  3. Schedule tech-free time where phones stay off!

Will you try this with your family this week? Are you concerned with the amount of time you or your kids spend on devices? Leave us a comment below if you have any additional suggestions on developing good tech habits.

Do you have a parenting question that you need help with? Feel free to ask on the home page, Twitter, or Facebook. I also have hundreds of parenting videos on YouTube as well.

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