We have all done it, sat on our phones while our kid played. I am equally guilty as the next person, but one day a few months ago I had a realization just how horrid this habit is and vowed to stop. The moment came to me while at a children’s museum. I was with my sister and her twins in the children’s play area when I saw another little girl playing in the corner. This would have been a happy picture if I hadn’t seen her father sitting on the ground, appearing to be completely oblivious to his daughters existence while having his eyes glued to his phone.
It was a disheartening thing to witness and a sobering reminder of what is truly important. The last thing I want Ezra to say when he grows up is “Ya, my mom took me to the park and stuff but she didn’t play with me, she was too busy on her phone”. Kids remember, and as a kid I remember my mom playing with me, taking me on hikes, interacting with me. God forbid a parent today actually puts down the technology and gives their child one on one time. We set the example, and telling our children isn’t enough.
I recently read an astounding fact that stated “prior to the popularity or availability of internet access, social media or texting through the use of cell phones people were able to live without it”. Okay, okay, I didn’t actually read that fact (I may have made that up), but nonetheless it is still true. *Gasp*, you mean that parents could still parent WITHOUT these things we can’t seem to live without? Fact. And it is debatable that they may have parented better. If we don’t teach our children the importance of face time (not to be confused with FaceTime), the cycle will continue to repeat.
Break the cycle by having a rule of ‘no phones at the table’. Limit your use and their use of technology. Make an effort to give time to your son or daughter. You will never regret spending time with them by looking back on life and wishing you had spent more time on Facebook or Instagram. Life goes so quickly, you don’t want to miss out of cherishable memories hiding behind a screen.