Have you ever noticed how much time you spend on your cell phone? How did we ever function without the instant connection with friends, family, work and society as a whole? The ability to work from home and instantly deal with issues promised to allow more time for family, but has it? Some individuals may fool themselves into believing they are multi-tasking but in reality we can only concentrate on one thing at a time and the thrill of being connected wins most of the time.
This distraction has many health care professionals who work with families concerned that the dominant presence of the smartphone in our lives may be having a negative effect on our children. Experts believe that technology is pulling the family apart. Parents are distracted from their children. Children are acting out more in their quest to get attention - any attention - which makes childrearing more difficult. Can you relate?! The bottom line is that our children feel ignored and as time passes this feeling deepens and can be damaging.
When children are young, their brains develop rapidly and change is based on their experiences. The daily interactions of support, stimulation and nurturance have a life-long effect on their ability to reach full potential. This connection needs to start early and continue as a strong foundation for their future. They need our help more than ever.
All parents or caregivers should pause and review their priorities right now. Recognize the importance of your relationship with your children and take the steps needed to find a good balance.
Okay, so here's an experiment for you to try: for the rest of this month, be more intentional about putting the phone down and see if your children don't appreciate it--and you--more. If further proof is needed, next time you’re at a restaurant or playground, just take a look around and decide for yourself.
Want to learn more about this? Check out this great article from the New York Times: The Guilty Secret of Distracted Parenting