Could mobile phones really be robbing us of our children’s time? That’s a big statement right? But consider this scenario…
You are in the living room with your child/ren, you’re browsing social media on your phone, they are playing or watching tv or snacking, they look up at you, either seeking affirmation or encouragement for sitting nicely or finishing their carrot sticks yet your eyes are glued to the screen, they carry on playing, then they look back up again thinking maybe now mummy/daddy will look at me, you’re eyes are still on the screen, they approach you and demand your attention, what do you say?
“I’m busy!”…”Maybe later”
They go back and sit down, discouraged, they feel that their good behaviour hadn’t been appreciated or given the attention it deserved so they start acting up, hitting their siblings, they look up and you’re off your phone! You’re approaching them. You’re giving them the attention. It worked.
You may think that children are young, they don’t realise these things, they don’t know, but they do. And I know that sometimes you need that five minutes away from the chaos, but be cautious. Don’t ignore or exclude your child. Children need constant communication with their parents, constant encouragement and affirmation.
If you don’t believe me, test it out.
I challenge you!
Sit on your phone while they’re playing and count how many times they look up at you, then you’ll see what I mean, I promise you they will act out when you don’t give them the attention.
Then the next time while they’re playing engage with them, send lots of praise, encouragement, appreciation, have no phone in sight. And see the difference, see the glow in their faces every time.
That’s not to say that as parents we have no rights to sit down, relax and browse through Facebook but to do it moderately and possibly timing it to when the children aren’t around or don’t need our attention. Or use your phone but every now and then give them that praise and attention.
What are your thoughts? Comment below!