Are you connected much of the time to your mobile device? Do you answer texts or check email while sharing a meal with your children?Are you distracted because you are waiting for a response?
In this digital age, many parents complain their children are constantly plugged in. You may not realize children may feel the same way about their parents. What kind of message does it give your child if whatever is on your screen is more important to you than them? Many of us are more engaged on our phones than we realize. Not only are we setting a bad example, but we are missing out on quality time with our families.
Why You Should Put Away Your Phone When With Your Family
IT’S RUDE NOT TO
The person (or people) with whom we are spending time should be our top priority. Sure, sometimes you may have to take an emergency call, but most of the time the other person can wait. I’ve seen parents take a call when their child is in mid-sentence and not remember to follow up on the conversation, possibly missing out on something very important to him or her.
IT RAISES THE QUALITY OF YOUR CONVERSATIONS
Even the presence of a cell phone lowers the quality of a conversation. Put away the phone unless you need to be available for an emergency. Pay attention to your in-person conversations with your kids, communicating that they are your priority and have your full attention.
YOUR PHONE IS A DISTRACTION
A simple notification of a text or email can impair your ability to focus on a conversation. It is hard not to be curious when we hear those enticing little sounds, but it is more important to be present in the moment.
IT HELPS YOU BE MORE EMPATHETIC
Face-to-face conversation is where we experience the joy of being heard and understood. It is where we develop the capacity for empathy. Model this behavior for your children and reap the benefits.
All parents need to take a good hard look at themselves and their behavior with their mobile devices. Are you more connected to the outside world than you are to your children? More time focused on your family will promote more satisfying relationships.