It’s no secret that while technology has provided us with communication superpowers that we couldn’t have even dreamed of 30 years ago, it also has its pitfalls. Technology, particularly our phones, has made us more connected and disconnected than ever.
I mean, how many times have you seen a couple out for dinner, and at least one or both of them are scrolling through their iPhones rather than engaging in meaningful, face-to-face communication?
And the same goes when we’re trying to spend quality time with our kids. How many times has a wonderful opportunity to play with your children in the summer sun passed because you’re occupied with scrolling through your newsfeed?
The DadMum blogger brought this sobering lesson to light in a viral post where he challenges parents to not let your phones interfere with your parenting. Through his own experiences, he relays just how refreshing a “time out” from that device glued to our hands can be.
Read his post in full below:
“Don’t let your phone make you a [bad] parent.
I was home alone with the boys and was on Facebook trying to keep up with the world.
Knox came up and stood in front of me. I didn’t even notice him at first but he was clearly trying to get my attention. He was trying to show me one of his cars. I didn’t even look up from my phone when I replied “wow mate that’s a cool one”. He continued to stand in front of me. He started saying “Hi”. I said “Hi” back at him a few times but he didn’t stop. He got another toy and kept trying to get my attention.
Eventually I looked up from my phone and said “Daddy’s busy mate, can you go and play with Finn”. He walked out of the room and began playing quietly in the other room with his brother. I continued scrolling. He came back in and the same thing happened.
I hadn’t seen him in two days due to my work hours. He was bored and he missed me and he just wanted my attention. Yet there I was “too busy” to even look up. And I dismissed him.
I realised shortly after and put my phone away. I felt like [crap]. I was being the dad I never wanted to be. I’d had enough. So I went into the other room and asked him to play. His entire face lit up. He said “sure” and scooched over to make room for me next to him. We played all day and I left my phone on the bench.
That was a month ago now. I gave myself a much needed time-out. And it’s been the best month with my boys.
I can’t post every day. Sometimes I will miss a week. I don’t mind.
Kids don’t give a [darn] about the world. All they care about is you being right there with them.
We need to put the phones down when we’re with them.”