Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Parent and put the phone down!
Let’s face it we live in a world today where we have access to just about everything through our cell phones. We can talk to anyone, anywhere at any time, send and receive emails, access the internet and get the latest updates on our social networking sites via Facebook and Twitter. Someone is reading my blog from their phone right now (thank you for your support). We can hardly get through a day without our beloved hip attachments. If you sit back and think about it how many times a day do you check your phone? How much time do you spend on your phone? Do you have a car charger or carry an extra charger with you just in case your battery dies? Why is your phone so important to you? Can you go a day without it? Most importantly, does your phone interfere with your parenting? When all of my kids were born I remember shortly after their birth saying to my husband, take their pictures so we can send them to friends and family via text, email and Facebook. It seemed like I couldn’t do anything without my phone, I was always on it. Now that I have four kids I don’t have that much idle time to just constantly check my phone to see what’s going on with Facebook, Twitter, other blogs, etc. In my head it didn’t seem like I was on my phone that much. My reality check came from my son one day while I was driving. My son, Brandon said to me, “Mommy I need to tell you something”. When I picked him up from school I was on the phone, so I hurriedly hushed him up because after all I was on the phone. Well what he wanted to tell me was that he made a 100 on his math test and that the kids in his class were calling him a math wizard because he was the only one who made a 100 on the test. He got to go pick a reward for his effort. In his mind he had been waiting to tell me this all day and I blew his moment because I was having a conversation that in hindsight could have waited. He wanted to hear my praise for his hard work, but instead I hushed him up and deflated his excitement. I lost that moment and as much as I wanted a “do over” I could never get that moment back. The lesson I learned that day was that my first role is to parent my kids under any and all circumstances and that my phone could wait. They look to me as their mom for a certain type of validation and it is my job to give them that. When I pick my kids up from school I do not answer my phone and I try not to be on my phone for at least 2 hours. We talk about everyone’s day, they share their feelings about their little lives and how things are going. I have a choice as we all do. I can choose to listen to the small things that matter to my kids now so that when they’re older they will come to me with the big things or I can choose to be in touch with the world via my phone. Have you ever missed a moment to parent because you were too busy being plugged into your phone? If you have now is a good time to recognize it and do better.