How to juggle your phone and your child
If we are being totally honest, we know that we are addicted to our smartphones and love nothing more than scrolling through social media sites.
Our hands are never free anymore and it is fair to say not having your phone in your hand makes us feel less normal.
Recently, it has been revealed that children hate parents spending time on their phones and this is fair enough considering kids like to have our full attention.
How many times have you had words with your other half for ignoring you while chatting? Too many, I reckon and honestly, kids are noticing it.
So here begins the recalibration on juggling phones and kids. Here are a few tips on being a good parent while enjoying the smartphone scrolling.
Put it away at pick up time
I read that some schools are asking parents to put away their phone when they are collecting their kids, so they can get your full attention. They want to tell you about their day and get some time to be important. Kids are sociable little creatures and they do need that attention to feel important. Put the phone away for this time and then, they will be less likely to sulk too. Some parents have found their children act up more to get their parents attention when they are on their phones so again, be mindful of this and act accordingly.
Distract your kid
Instead of sitting on your phone while your kid demands your attention try distracting them with a game or a jigsaw. Give them 20 minutes to play alone and show them the clock so they learn while you do your own thing. Then, once the time is up, give your child your attention again and thank them for their patience too. This way you both get some time to do as you like and once the time is up you can return to chatting and playing together.
Leave it until bedtime
There is time to do your social media scrolling later when the kiddies are gone to bed. Also, that is the time that people are most active online as other parents are busy throughout the day. Once the little one is in bed you can do as you like and not feel guilty. It is understandable that you enjoy social media platforms and reading endless amounts of articles, but we must remember the people around us and the impact our habits have on them.
Remember to be a good role model
Your kid will eventually get a phone and they will eventually be doing all the things you are doing and possibly more. Now is the time to show them the correct way to use the phone and not get addicted to a device. You can hardly tell your child to not use their phone at the table while eating dinner if you are exhibiting the same behaviours.
No phone at certain times is the best way to keep everyone in your family in check. Also, it encourages healthy phone habits for your child once they do get their own phone as they will know certain times are “Phone free” and it means everyone in the family spends time together too.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.