I have been forced to reevaluate this morning. I read two articles regarding the distractions of technology and how this impacts our relationships. These are not the first articles I have read regarding this topic and I have made changes in the past, but they have been small changes. I read two articles this morning that have now motivated even more change in how I use my smartphone.

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

For The Children’s Sake, Put Down That Smartphone

I was reading these articles as my daughter ate breakfast. She was facing my back as I was busy reading. She was eating her breakfast by herself, chatting to herself. I was too busy reading to join her. What am I telling her by making her look at my back while she is eating breakfast? She is not worth my time…yikes. Not my intention at all!

And so I shut my computer off.

Distracted By Devices...Finding a Balance. Shutting off the computer.

I would love to just walk away from it, but I know that it will be so much more tempting if it’s still open. All the tabs…showing me the articles I have saved to read.

I sat with my sweet daughter while she finished her banana and cheerios. Eye contact. We had the greatest conversation. When I sit and chat with her I’m amazed at how her little 3 year-old brain works. When I sit and have a conversation with her most of what she says makes me smile or laugh. When I’m “busy” on my phone or computer, her comments are rarely as dear. Eye-opening. There is so much more to cherish in her sweet face and conversation than whatever article is asking for my attention.

Now, this does not mean that I intend for my computer and phone to go away for every second my daughters are awake. I feel strongly that self-directed and independent play is very important. They do not need me constantly hovering around them. I will send an e-mail or read an article while my daughters are awake and playing. BUT…this should be a very small part of my day. My goal is to be very aware. Find a balance. I want to stay away from mindless phone-checking.

Where do I go from here? Here is my starting point:

– Use hours (or at time, minutes) that no one needs me for e-mail, reading news and other articles, blogging, and social media. Goal: Early morning hours would be a wonderful time for this? Currently working on…

– I’m going to find periods during my day when my computer is shut and my phone is off in another room. I have kiddos and household duties to attend to. My device can wait. Goal: Shut down and disconnect to connect.

 

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