Cell Phone Addicted Parents: Do We Practice What We Preach?
In barely 10 years, phones have gone from being a simple form of communication to becoming an indispensable necessity for people’s lives. The internet, social media…experts call it “the era of over-connection.”
So, how are we going to demand that our little ones leave the technology bubble if we are not even able to manage without it ourselves?
In 2007, Child Development magazine published a study in which 170 families were evaluated regarding cell phone use at home. The results were shocking: 48% confessed that their cell phone interrupts the time spent with their children more than three times a day. Additionally, it was found that there is a direct link between parents overusing cell phones and their children’s behavioral problems. The higher the time of “child neglect due to technology” was, the more behavioral problems were observed in young children (violent reactions, tantrums, and anger).
These results are enough for you to begin to disconnect and come back to planet Earth.
How to Stop Being Cell Phone Addicted Parents
- Look closely at your behavior regarding your cell phone before acting. A good way to do this is by fulfilling self-monitoring to quantify the number of times that you check your phone, send texts, send emails…are you conscious of just how many hours you invest daily?
- A status on one of your accounts: “I’m enjoying some family time,” as clear as that. When you are spending time with your children do not let a call or text ruin the moment. There are many ways to disconnect your cell: by putting it on airplane mode, setting a schedule for phone use, only allowing urgent calls to come through, etc…
- During meals, do not allow any phones on the table. Why should we do this? These moments are ideal for speaking, discussing how one’s day went, and strengthening parent-child bonds. In short, these moments provide a space where familial communication is constructed and agreed to.
- It is truly useful to have a “parking lot” for phones at home! If from a young age your children observe how you decide to “park” your phone when you get home, you will see how they’ll do the same. As parents, we act as mirrors for our children.
“Life is that which is happening while you decide to check your cell phone.”