The notion of ‘digitally distracted parents’ consumes my thoughts so often these days.
Yes, screen time is part and parcel of modern life. And while there’s no denying that smart phones in particular provide amazing efficiencies, I can’t help but hate how pervasive this technology is; we can be slaves to our own phones if we’re not careful. They can interrupt our every train of thought and dictate our every move if we allow them!
As parents, we are really conscious of how we model technology use with our children. What message does it give our kids when we are forever looking away from them in favour of gazing at our phone screen? I think we have a genuine responsibility to make sure we, and our kids, regularly have long expanses of time to allow our overstimulated, scrambled brains get some much needed down time. We’re literally counting down to our next unplugged beachside camping holiday for a week of leaving the phone switched off.
After lots of practise, we are now in a pretty good routine of trying not to juggle working on screens when we are with the kids. But its more the pervasive, incidental phone checks that bother me and are so distracting for us all. I’m getting a jump start on setting resolutions for the new year to try and reduce my reliance on my phone, here’s just a few;
* I’m going to replace the battery in my beautiful (analogue) watch so I’m not forever checking the time on my phone
* I’ll form a new habit of carrying beautiful notebook and pen to inspire note taking and list making rather than using phone notes.
* New rule - no phones for the kids in when they are travelling in the car, full stop. That time can be better spent relaxing, thinking, chatting, or even just plain old getting bored. It will do their brains a world of good!